Expression of microRNAs in basal cell carcinoma

Br J Dermatol. 2012 Oct;167(4):847-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11022.x. Epub 2012 Aug 20.


Background: Perturbations in the expression profiles of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported for a variety of different cancers. Differentially expressed miRNAs have not been systematically evaluated in basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin.

Objectives: To initiate a microarray-based miRNA profiling study to identify specific miRNA candidates that are differentially expressed in BCC.

Methods: Patients with BCC (n = 7) were included in this study. Punch biopsies were harvested from the tumour centre (lesional, n = 7) and from adjacent nonlesional skin (intraindividual control, n = 7). Microarray-based miRNA expression profiles were obtained on an Agilent platform using miRBase 16 screening for 1205 Homo sapiens (hsa)-miRNA candidates. To validate the microarray data, the expression of seven dysregulated miRNAs was measured by TaqMan quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.

Results: We identified 16 significantly upregulated (hsa-miR-17, hsa-miR-18a, hsa-miR-18b, hsa-miR-19b, hsa-miR-19b-1*, hsa-miR-93, hsa-miR-106b, hsa-miR-125a-5p, hsa-miR-130a, hsa-miR-181c, hsa-miR-181c*, hsa-miR-181d, hsa-miR-182, hsa-miR-455-3p, hsa-miR-455-5p and hsa-miR-542-5p) and 10 significantly downregulated (hsa-miR-29c, hsa-miR-29c*, hsa-miR-139-5p, hsa-miR-140-3p, hsa-miR-145, hsa-miR-378, hsa-miR-572, hsa-miR-638, hsa-miR-2861 and hsa-miR-3196) miRNAs in BCC compared with nonlesional skin. Data mining revealed connections to many tumour-promoting pathways, such as the Hedgehog and the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase signalling cascades.

Conclusions: This study identified several miRNA candidates that may play a role in the molecular pathogenesis of BCC.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Neoplasm