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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Nov 26;99(24):15524-9. Epub 2002 Nov 14.

Frequent deletions and down-regulation of micro- RNA genes miR15 and miR16 at 13q14 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Micro-RNAs (miR genes) are a large family of highly conserved noncoding genes thought to be involved in temporal and tissue-specific gene regulation. MiRs are transcribed as short hairpin precursors ( approximately 70 nt) and are processed into active 21- to 22-nt RNAs by Dicer, a ribonuclease that recognizes target mRNAs via base-pairing interactions. Here we show that miR15 and miR16 are located at chromosome 13q14, a region deleted in more than half of B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemias (B-CLL). Detailed deletion and expression analysis shows that miR15 and miR16 are located within a 30-kb region of loss in CLL, and that both genes are deleted or down-regulated in the majority ( approximately 68%) of CLL cases.

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