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Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2007 Sep;20(3):425-37.

The role of microRNA and other non-coding RNA in the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wiseman Hall Room 385K, 400 12th Avenue, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


New findings support the view that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a genetic disease in which the main alterations occur in a new class of genes named microRNAs (miRNAs). Cases with good prognostic features typically are characterized by miRNA down-regulation of genes miR-15a and miR-16-1, located at 13q14.3. Both microRNAs negatively regulate BCL2 at a post-transcriptional level. On the other hand, in CLL cases that use unmutated immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable-region genes (IgV(H)) or have high-level expression of the 70-kD zeta-associated protein (ZAP-70) have high levels of TCL1 due to low-level expression of miR-29 and miR-181, which directly target this oncogene. Conceivably, these miRNAs might be used to target BCL2 or TCL1 for therapy of this disease.

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