Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the deadliest diseases worldwide and represents an impending burden on the healthcare system. Despite increasing attention, the mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis in cancer-related diseases such as COPD remain unclear, making novel biomarkers necessary to improve lung cancer early diagnosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA that interfere with several pathways and can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. This study aimed to compare miRNA lung expression between subjects with NSCLC and COPD and healthy controls to obtain the miRNA expression profile by analyzing shared pathways. Lung specimens were collected from a prospective cohort of 21 sex-matched subjects to determine the tissue miRNA expression of hsa-miR-34a-5p, 33a-5p, 149-3p, 197-3p, 199-5p, and 320a-3p by RT-PCR. In addition, an in silico prediction of miRNA target genes linked to cancer was performed. We found a specific trend for has-miR-149-3p, 197-3p, and 34a-5p in NSCLC, suggesting their possible role as an index of the tumor microenvironment. Moreover, we identified novel miRNA targets, such as the Cyclin-Dependent Kinase (CDK) family, linked to carcinogenesis by in silico analysis. In conclusion. this study identified lung miRNA signatures related to the tumorigenic microenvironment, suggesting their possible role in improving the evaluation of lung cancer onset.
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