Altered expression of selected microRNAs in melanoma: Antiproliferative and proapoptotic activity of miRNA-155

Lauretta Levati, Ester Alvino, Diego Pagani, Diego Arcelli, Patrizia Caporaso, Sergio Bondanza, Gianpiero Di Leva, Manuela Ferracin, Stefano Volinia, Enzo Bonmassar, Carlo Maria Croce, Stefania D'Atri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Altered expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) has been detected in cancer, suggesting that these small non-coding RNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. In the present study, we investigated the expression of miRNA-17-5p, miRNA-18a, miRNA-20a, miRNA-92a, miRNA-146a, miRNA-146b and miRNA-155 by real-time quantitative RT-PCR in a panel of melanocyte cultures and melanoma cell lines and explored the possible role of miRNA-155 in melanoma cell proliferation and survival. The analyzed miRNAs were selected on the basis of previous studies strongly supporting their involvement in cancer development and/or progression. We found that miRNA-17-5p, miRNA-18a, miRNA-20a, and miRNA-92a were overexpressed, whereas miRNA-146a, miRNA-146b and miRNA-155 were down-regulated in the majority of melanoma cell lines with respect to melanocytes. Ectopic expression of miRNA-155 significantly inhibited proliferation in 12 of 13 melanoma cell lines with reduced levels of this miRNA and induced apoptosis in 4 out of 4 cell lines analyzed. In conclusion, our data further support the finding of altered miRNA expression in melanoma cells and establish for the first time that miRNA-155 is a negative regulator of melanoma cell proliferation and survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-400
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • Apoptosis
  • Melanoma
  • MicroRNA
  • MicroRNA-155
  • Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Levati, L., Alvino, E., Pagani, D., Arcelli, D., Caporaso, P., Bondanza, S., Di Leva, G., Ferracin, M., Volinia, S., Bonmassar, E., Croce, C. M., & D'Atri, S. (2009). Altered expression of selected microRNAs in melanoma: Antiproliferative and proapoptotic activity of miRNA-155. International Journal of Oncology, 35(2), 393-400.