Study of microRNA Profile as a Molecular Biomarker in Egyptian Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

  • Nahla Mohamed Gamal Farahat
  • Dalal Mohamed Nasr El Din Elkaffash
  • Ashraf Hussein Alghandour
  • Rania Shafik SwelemEmail author
  • Reham Abdel Haleem Abo El-Wafa
Original Article


MicroRNAs target mRNAs for cleavage or translational repression. They play a critical role in the progression of malignancies and leukemias including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, microRNA expression levels in Egyptian patients with CLL, and their prognostic value remain elusive. Our main aim was to assess the expression pattern of a panel of microRNAs in CLL patients to create an informative microRNA profile. The study subjects were 40 newly diagnosed CLL patients of both sexes and 40 age and sex matched controls. The expression levels of 12 microRNAs were evaluated by qRT-PCR, including miR-15a, 16, 23b, 24, 29a, 29c, 34a, 146a, 155, 181a, 195, and 221. Flow cytometry was used to determine the expression levels of BCL2, CD38, and ZAP-70 in CLL patients. We identified various degrees of upregulated miRNAs (miR-29a, miR-29c, miR-34a, miR-155, miR-146a, and miR-195) and down-regulated ones (miR-15a, miR-16, miR-23b, miR-24, miR-181a, and miR-221) in CLL patients relative to controls. The mean fluorescence intensity ratio (MFI-R) of BCL2 was recorded and was significantly upregulated in CLL patients compared with normal controls. In addition, inverse correlations were observed between microRNAs (miR-15a, miR-16, miR-155, and miR-195) and BCL2 MFI-R while positive correlations were observed between miR-29a and miR-29c, and BCL2 MFI-R. These findings suggest that these miRNAs regulate BCL2 levels. Moreover, we found that miR-15a, miR-16, miR-155, miR-181a, miR-195 and miR-221 were significantly upregulated, while miR-29a and miR-29c were significantly downregulated in ZAP-70 positive CLL patients. Various miRNAs may play an important role in the pathogenesis of CLL and have the potential to be used for the prognosis of patients with CLL.


miRNA CLL BCL-2 ZAP-70 CD38 



The authors would like to thank all participating technicians, and our patients, who without them this work could not have been accomplished.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in our study were in accordance with the ethical standards of our institution and national and with the 1975 Helsinki declaration as revised in 2008.

Supplementary material

12288_2018_1000_MOESM1_ESM.tif (53 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Comparison between cases and control groups regarding miRNAs expression levels (TIFF 52 kb)
12288_2018_1000_MOESM2_ESM.tif (25 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 2 Relation between Lymphadenopathy in CLL patients and A) miR-23b expression, B) miR-221 expression (TIFF 25 kb)
12288_2018_1000_MOESM3_ESM.tif (99 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 3 Relation between Splenomegaly and miRNAs expression in CLL patients (TIFF 98 kb)
12288_2018_1000_MOESM4_ESM.tif (134 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 4 Box plot showing Relation between modified Rai stages and miRNAs expression levels in CLL patients (TIFF 134 kb)
12288_2018_1000_MOESM5_ESM.tif (133 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 5 Correlations between miRNAs expression levels and BCL2 MFI-R (TIFF 132 kb)
12288_2018_1000_MOESM6_ESM.tif (55 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 6 Relation between LDT and miRNAs expression levels in CLL patients (TIFF 54 kb)
12288_2018_1000_MOESM7_ESM.tif (53 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 7 Relation between treatment requirements and miRNAs expression levels in CLL patients (TIFF 53 kb)
12288_2018_1000_MOESM8_ESM.doc (42 kb)
Supplementary material 8 (DOC 42 kb)
12288_2018_1000_MOESM9_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Supplementary material 9 (DOC 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nahla Mohamed Gamal Farahat
    • 1
  • Dalal Mohamed Nasr El Din Elkaffash
    • 1
  • Ashraf Hussein Alghandour
    • 2
  • Rania Shafik Swelem
    • 1
    Email author
  • Reham Abdel Haleem Abo El-Wafa
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical and Chemical Pathology Department, Faculty of MedicineAlexandria UniversityAzaritaEgypt
  2. 2.Internal Medicine (Hematology), Faculty of MedicineAlexandria UniversityAzaritaEgypt

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