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Blood. 2009 Jun 25;113(26):6669-80. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-01-198408. Epub 2009 Apr 28.

MicroRNAs 15a and 16 regulate tumor proliferation in multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Detailed genomic studies have shown that cytogenetic abnormalities contribute to multiple myeloma (MM) pathogenesis and disease progression. Nevertheless, little is known about the characteristics of MM at the epigenetic level and specifically how microRNAs regulate MM progression in the context of the bone marrow milieu. Therefore, we performed microRNA expression profiling of bone marrow derived CD138(+) MM cells versus their normal cellular counterparts and validated data by qRT-PCR. We identified a MM-specific microRNA signature characterized by down-expression of microRNA-15a/-16 and overexpression of microRNA-222/-221/-382/-181a/-181b (P < .01). We investigated the functional role of microRNA-15a and -16 and showed that they regulate proliferation and growth of MM cells in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting AKT serine/threonine-protein-kinase (AKT3), ribosomal-protein-S6, MAP-kinases, and NF-kappaB-activator MAP3KIP3. Moreover, miRNA-15a and -16 exerted their anti-MM activity even in the context of the bone marrow milieu in vitro and in vivo. These data indicate that microRNAs play a pivotal role in the biology of MM and represent important targets for novel therapies in MM.

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