MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs involved in the regulation of gene expression. Selected groups of miRNAs are differentially expressed in various types of cancers. Alterations in miRNAs gene expression have been shown in cells from the B-cell malignancy, multiple myeloma (MM). However, although MM is a disease of plasma cells, abnormalities have been detected in the peripheral blood of the patients.
The goal of our study was to analyse the entire miRNome in peripheral lymphocytes of MM patients using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Using in silica analysis, we also evaluated some of the most interesting and significant pathways. Analysis revealed that MM samples had a distinct miRNA profile compared to the controls. This resulted in the identification of 203 miRNAs, 85 of which were over-expressed and 118 under-expressed. Of these, 184 possessed validated or highly predicted mRNA targets. We identified 12 354 mRNA targets of the transcriptome: 36·4% of the related proteins are involved in death processes while the 21% are required for growth and cell proliferation. We have demonstrated that miRNAs are differentially expressed in the peripheral blood of MM patients compared to controls, affecting some pathways involved in the anti-apoptotic process, cell proliferation and maybe anti-angiogenesis.