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Blood. 2007 Jun 1;109(11):4944-51. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

Quantitative technologies establish a novel microRNA profile of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Cellulari ed Ematologia, Sezione di Genetica Molecolare, Universit√† di Roma La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a novel class of small noncoding RNAs that modulate the expression of genes at the posttranscriptional level. These small molecules have been shown to be involved in cancer, apoptosis, and cell metabolism. In the present study we provide an informative profile of the expression of miRNAs in primary chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells using 2 independent and quantitative methods: miRNA cloning and quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) of mature miRNAs. Both approaches show that miR-21 and miR-155 are dramatically overexpressed in patients with CLL, although the corresponding genomic loci are not amplified. miR-150 and miR-92 are also significantly deregulated in patients with CLL. In addition, we detected a marked miR-15a and miR-16 decrease in about 11% of cases. Finally, we identified a set of miRNAs whose expression correlates with biologic parameters of prognostic relevance, particularly with the mutational status of the IgV(H) genes. In summary, the results of this study offer for the first time a comprehensive and quantitative profile of miRNA expression in CLL and their healthy counterpart, suggesting that miRNAs could play a primary role in the disease itself.

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