Virchows Arch 2011 Oct 18;459(4):431-40. Epub 2011 Jul 18.
Department of Clinical Oncology, University of Patras, School of Medicine, Patras, Greece.
The pathogenesis of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is a complex process that involves the recruitment of both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Recent studies underline the cardinal role of small, noncoding RNA molecules, called microRNAs (miRs), in the pathobiology of numerous physiological and pathological processes, including oncogenesis. MiR biogenesis and maturation is mainly regulated by the nuclear ribonuclease Drosha and the cytoplasmic ribonucleases Dicer and Ago2. In the present study, we investigated the expression and distribution of these molecules in three colon cancer cell lines and in human CRC samples. Drosha, Dicer, and Ago2 mRNA and protein expression was assessed with real-time PCR, western blotting, and immunofluorescence. Our experiments showed that Drosha, Dicer, and Ago2 were expressed in all the cell lines and in the majority of the CRC samples examined. The mRNA levels of Dicer were significantly augmented in stage III compared to stage II tumors. Our results suggest that Drosha, Dicer, and Ago2 are possibly implicated in CRC pathobiology and that Dicer might have a role in the progression of these tumors to advanced stages.