Expression of a family of noncoding mitochondrial RNAs distinguishes normal from cancer cells

Verónica A. Burzio, Claudio Villota, Jaime Villegas, Eduardo Landerer, Enrique Boccardo, Luisa L. Villa, Ronny Martínez, Constanza Lopez, Fancy Gaete, Viviana Toro, Ximena Rodriguez, Luis O. Burzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


We reported the presence in human cells of a noncoding mitochondrial RNA that contains an inverted repeat (IR) of 815 nucleotides (nt) covalently linked to the 5' end of the mitochondrial 16S RNA (16S mtrRNA). The transcript contains a stem-loop structure and is expressed in human proliferating cells but not in resting cells. Here, we demonstrate that, in addition to this transcript, normal human proliferating cells in culture express 2 antisense mitochondrial transcripts. These transcripts also contain stem-loop structures but strikingly they are down-regulated in tumor cell lines and tumor cells present in 17 different tumor types. The differential expression of these transcripts distinguishes normal from tumor cells and might contribute a unique vision on cancer biology and diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9430-9434
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2009


  • Differential expression in cancer
  • RNAs with stem-loop structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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