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Blood. 2007 May 15;109(10):4399-405. Epub 2007 Feb 6.

Expression of the miR-17-92 polycistron in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) CD34+ cells.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Hemostasis, and Oncology, Hannover Medical School, Germany.


Aberrant micro RNA (miRNA) expression has been described in human malignancies including B-cell lymphomas. We here report BCR-ABL- and c-MYC-dependent regulation of miRNA expression in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) using microarray analysis (miCHIP) and miRNA-specific quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (miR-qRT-PCR). In 3 bcr-abl-positive cell lines, expression of miRNAs encoded within the polycistronic miR-17-92 cluster is specifically down-regulated (2- to 5-fold) by both imatinib treatment and anti-BCR-ABL RNA interference (RNAi). In addition, anti-c-MYC RNAi reduces miR-17-92 expression in K562 cells in which miRNAs can specifically repress reporter gene expression, as demonstrated by specific miRNA inhibition with antagomirs. Furthermore, lentivirus-mediated overexpression of polycistronic miRNAs in K562 cells confers increased proliferation, partial resistance against anti-c-MYC RNAi, and enhanced sensitivity to imatinib-induced cell death. Finally, we determined miR-17-92 expression in purified normal (n = 4), early chronic-phase (CP) (n = 24), and blast-crisis (BC) (n = 7) CML CD34(+) cells and found up-regulation of polycistronic pri-miRNA transcripts in CML and mature miRNAs in CP but not in BC CML. These data are in accordance with a BCR-ABL-c-MYC-miR-17-92 pathway that mediates enhanced miRNA expression in CP but not BC CML CD34(+) cells. Altered miRNA expression may contribute to the pathophysiology of the disease and may provide potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

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