Document Type : Original Article
Department of Basic Medical Science, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Albaha University, Albaha 65779, Saudi Arabia
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded non-coding RNA sequences with about 22 nucleotides that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. miRNAs play a crucial role as gene regulators; nevertheless, they also have an influence on the etiology of many disorders, including cancer. Both population-based and functional studies have investigated the function of miRNAs in the onset and progression of cancer. However, research on the impact of miRNA polymorphisms on human cancer susceptibility to initiation, development, and prognosis is still growing. The pri-miR-26a-1 may have an impact on miR-26, which has been hypothesized to have a tumor-suppressive function in the genesis of cancer. Early study has shown cancer risk associated with the pri-miR-26a-1 rs7372209 C >T polymorphism in molecular epidemiology research. The data regarding the impact of pri-miR-26a-1 rs7372209 C >T polymorphism on cancer risk among the Saudi population lacks. The present study sought to determine the allelic frequency and distribution of the pri-miR-26a-1 rs7372209 C >T polymorphism in the Saudi Arabian population and to compare it to populations from other parts of the world. Data from epidemiological studies conducted in various ethnic groups were extracted using PUBMED (Medline) and other similar web databases. An estimated 12.25 percent of the Saudi population harbors the pri-miR-26a-1 rs7372209 variant allele (T). When the Saudi prevalence is compared to that of other populations, it is observed that China, the USA, and South Africa (black ancestry) have significantly different frequencies (p < .0001). Only one South African report with participants of mixed ancestry from the Western Cape and a population with significant ancestral components from the indigenous Khoisan, Bantu-speaking Africans, Europeans, and Asians revealed comparable pri-miR-26a-1 rs7372209 frequency (p=0.34). Clearly, the pri-miR-26a-1 rs7372209 polymorphism variant allele has a very unique pattern in the Saudi Arabian population, which may be a result of racial differences. The findings could assist in the risk assessment of people carrying pri-miR-26a-1 rs7372209 TT mutant predisposed to develop different types of cancers in the Saudi population.