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Retrovirology. 2008 Jan 14;5:4. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-5-4.

Pvt1-encoded microRNAs in oncogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0414, USA.



The functional significance of the Pvt1 locus in the oncogenesis of Burkitt's lymphoma and plasmacytomas has remained a puzzle. In these tumors, Pvt1 is the site of reciprocal translocations to immunoglobulin loci. Although the locus encodes a number of alternative transcripts, no protein or regulatory RNA products were found. The recent identification of non-coding microRNAs encoded within the PVT1 region has suggested a regulatory role for this locus.


The mouse Pvt1 locus encodes several microRNAs. In mouse T cell lymphomas induced by retroviral insertions into the locus, the Pvt1 transcripts, and at least one of their microRNA products, mmu-miR-1204 are overexpressed. Whereas up to seven co-mutations can be found in a single tumor, in over 2,000 tumors none had insertions into both the Myc and Pvt1 loci.


Judging from the large number of integrations into the Pvt1 locus - more than in the nearby Myc locus - Pvt1 and the microRNAs encoded by it are as important as Myc in T lymphomagenesis, and, presumably, in T cell activation. An analysis of the co-mutations in the lymphomas likely place Pvt1 and Myc into the same pathway.

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