Recent evidence indicates that small noncoding RNA molecules known as microRNAs (miRNAs) can function as tumor suppressors and oncogenes. Mutation, misexpression, and altered mature miRNA processing are implicated in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Because SNPs in pre-miRNAs could alter miRNA processing, expression, and/or binding to target mRNA, we conducted a systematic survey of common pre-miRNA SNPs and their surrounding regions and evaluated in detail the association of 4 of these SNPs with the survival of individuals with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). When we assumed that disease susceptibility was inherited as a recessive phenotype, we found that the rs11614913 SNP in hsa-mir-196a2 was associated with survival in individuals with NSCLC. Specifically, survival was significantly decreased in individuals who were homozygous CC at SNP rs11614913. In the genotype-phenotype correlation analysis of 23 human lung cancer tissue samples, rs11614913 CC was associated with a statistically significant increase in mature hsa-mir-196a expression but not with changes in levels of the precursor, suggesting enhanced processing of the pre-miRNA to its mature form. Furthermore, binding assays revealed that the rs11614913 SNP can affect binding of mature hsa-mir-196a2-3p to its target mRNA. Therefore, the rs11614913 SNP in hsa-mir-196a2 may be a prognostic biomarker for NSCLC. Further characterization of miRNA SNPs may open new avenues for the study of cancer and therapeutic interventions.
Zhibin Hu, Jiaping Chen, Tian Tian, Xiaoyi Zhou, Haiyong Gu, Lin Xu, Yi Zeng, Ruifen Miao, Guangfu Jin, Hongxia Ma, Yijiang Chen, Hongbing Shen