Regulation of miRNA expression in melanoma and melanocyte cell lines. This is a research paper for an independent research project for in introductory biology course.

Essay by aakhan3College, UndergraduateA, October 2012

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Regulation of miRNA expression in melanoma and melanocyte cell lines


In order to learn about the role of miRNAs in melanoma, we studied the expression of miRNA-200, miRNA-34a, and miRNA-100 in human melanoma cell lines profiles (G361, A375, and HS294T) and normal human melanocytes. We are also using these cell lines in ongoing experiments to study the effects of demethylation and the expression of these miRNAs to test whether regulation may be controlled in part through epigenetics. Up until this point, my results have not yielded reproducible data. However, I do expect that miRNA-200, miRNA-100 and miRNA-34a will be downregulated in melanoma. A successful outcome of this study may lead to new information regarding the mechanism of melanoma development.

1. Introduction:

The human body has a very specific way to regulate the cell division process. However, when this process is disrupted, cancer occurs. All cancer cells grow abnormally, destroy normal neighboring cells, and eventually metastasize to the entire body (Miller et al.,

1981). As cancer spreads throughout an individual's body, organ systems weaken, and place a higher demand on the body for many processes. The common types of cancer differ between different age groups, and the causes for this disease vary (Miller et al., 1981). As part of this ongoing project, The Ahmad lab focused on melanoma.

Melanocytes are the pigment-producing cells present in the skin of humans and other select vertebrates, which originate from migratory embryonic cells called the neural crest (Uong and Zon, 2009). Many genes that stimulate melanocyte growth also are known to play a role in melanoma development. However, these genetic pathways are changed in the formation of this type of cancer (Uong and Zon, 2009).

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer in the United States, and the number of people...