Background Blood cancer is a fatal disease on the rise, affecting both adults and young children. Patients with chronic blood cancer are estimated to have a five-year survival rate of 26% and those with acute blood cancer of 65%. In Pakistan, almost one in three people have a kind of blood cancer that is incurable. AKT2 is crucial for cancer cells invasion, metastasis, and survival as a component of the Akt signaling system. It is a possible downstream gene target of cancer glycolysis-related microRNAs.1–3 Therefore, the study aimed to investigate miRNA-4716–3p, rs2304186, and the AKT2 gene’s role in blood cancer pathogenesis.
Methods RT-qPCR technique was used to analyze AKT2 gene mRNA and microRNA-4716–3p expression in 200 blood cancer samples and healthy controls. Tetra-ARMS PCR was used to examine the rs2304186 AKT2 SNP in 300 patients and 290 control samples.
Results Our results demonstrated that miRNA-4716–3p was significantly downregulated in blood cancer patients compared to healthy individuals (p = 0.0294), whereas mRNA expression of the AKT2 gene was significantly upregulated (p = 0.0034). miRNA-4716–3p downregulation (p = 0.0466) was more pronounced, while AKT2 upregulation was non-significant (p = 0.1661) in untreated patients compared to treated patients. Blood cancer risk was also significantly associated with the rs2304186 GT genotype (p = 0.0432), TT genotype (p = 0.0502), and mutant allele (T) frequency (p = 0.0008). Polymorphism rs2304186 was associated with an increased risk of blood cancer in dominant (p = 0.0011), recessive (p = 0.0502), and additive (p = 0.0008) genetic models.
Conclusions Our findings indicate that the rs2304186 SNP and the deregulated expression of miRNA-4716–3p and AKT2 gene at the mRNA level may considerably increase the incidences of blood cancer, particularly in the Pakistani population. Therefore, they may function as biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of blood cancer. Additional, larger-scale investigations may be required to affirm our results.
Acknowledgements I acknowledge the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), UK, for providing the research grant for my MS project in Pakistan.
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Ethics Approval The Biosciences Department’s Ethical Review Board at COMSATS University Islamabad authorized experimental protocols. The participants were informed of the research’s objectives. The patient or their guardian consented before samples were taken.
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