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Human and Epstein-Barr Virus miRNA Profiling as Predictive Biomarkers for Endemic Burkitt Lymphoma
University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications
  • Cliff I. Oduor, Maseno University
  • Mercedeh Movassagh, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Yasin Kaymaz, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Kiprotich Chelimo, Maseno University
  • Juliana A. Otieno, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital
  • John M. Ong'echa, Kenya Medical Research Institute
  • Ann M. Moormann, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Jeffrey A. Bailey, University of Massachusetts Medical School
UMMS Affiliation
Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology; Program in Molecular Medicine; Division of Transfusion Medicine, Department of Medicine
Publication Date
Document Type
Endemic Burkitt lymphoma (eBL) is an aggressive B cell lymphoma and is associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Plasmodium falciparum malaria co-infections. Central to BL oncogenesis is the over-expression of the MYC proto-oncogene which is caused by a translocation of an Ig enhancer in approximation to the myc gene. While whole genome/transcriptome sequencing methods have been used to define driver mutations and transcriptional dysregulation, microRNA (miRNA) dysregulation and differential expression has yet to be fully characterized. We hypothesized that both human and EBV miRNAs contribute to eBL clinical presentation, disease progression, and poor outcomes. Using sensitive and precise deep sequencing, we identified miRNAs from 17 Kenyan eBL patient tumor samples and delineated the complement of both host and EBV miRNAs. One human miRNA, hsa-miR-10a-5p was found to be differentially expressed (DE), being down-regulated in jaw tumors relative to abdominal and in non-survivors compared to survivors. We also examined EBV miRNAs, which made up 2.7% of the miRNA composition in the eBL samples. However, we did not find any significant associations regarding initial patient outcome or anatomical presentation. Gene ontology analysis and pathway enrichment of previously validated targets of miR-10a-5p suggest that it can promote tumor cell survival as well as aid in evasion of apoptosis. To examine miR-10a-5p regulatory effect on gene expression in eBL, we performed a pairwise correlation coefficient analysis on the expression levels of all its validated targets. We found a significant enrichment of correlated target genes consistent with miR-10a-5p impacting expression. The functions of genes and their correlation fit with multiple target genes impacting tumor resilience. The observed downregulation of miR-10a and associated genes suggests a role for miRNA in eBL patient outcomes and has potential as a predictive biomarker that warrants further investigation.
  • EBV,
  • RNAseq,
  • endemic Burkitt lymphoma,
  • miR-10a-5p,
  • microRNA expression
Rights and Permissions
Copyright © 2017 Oduor, Movassagh, Kaymaz, Chelimo, Otieno, Ong'echa, Moormann and Bailey.
DOI of Published Version
Front Microbiol. 2017 Mar 28;8:501. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00501. eCollection 2017. Link to article on publisher's site
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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Citation Information
Cliff I. Oduor, Mercedeh Movassagh, Yasin Kaymaz, Kiprotich Chelimo, et al.. "Human and Epstein-Barr Virus miRNA Profiling as Predictive Biomarkers for Endemic Burkitt Lymphoma" Vol. 8 (2017) ISSN: 1664-302X (Linking)
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