Objective: The objective of this study was to analyze and identify pancreatic cancer stem cell-specific microRNAs (miRNAs) and messenger RNAs (mRNAs) to investigate their correlations to cancer stem cell biology.
Methods: We used sphere cultivation methods to enrich the stem cell population and analyzed overall miRNA and mRNA expressions using microarray analysis.
Results: Differentially expressed miRNAs including miR-99a, miR-100, miR-125b, miR-192, and miR-429 were detected in pancreatic cancer stem cells. Furthermore, examining both profiles, we obtained 210 miRNAs and 258 stem cell-associated mRNAs that were differentially expressed in the pancreatic cancer stem cells. These miRNAs and mRNAs were further investigated using cross-correlation analysis, which yielded 6 groups of miRNAs and 3 groups of mRNAs. The number of miRNA clusters and mRNA clusters showed high correlation based on microarray result.
Conclusions: Differentially expressed miRNAs in pancreatic cancer stem cells provide insights into possible linkages between clusters of miRNAs and clusters of stem cell-associated mRNAs in cancer stem cells and have broad implications in our understanding of cancer stem cells and cancer stem cell-targeted cancer therapy.