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Blood. 2009 Apr 16;113(16):3754-64. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-10-184077. Epub 2008 Dec 1.

Differentiation stage-specific expression of microRNAs in B lymphocytes and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology and Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami, FL 33136, USA.


miRNAs are small RNA molecules binding to partially complementary sites in the 3'-UTR of target transcripts and repressing their expression. miRNAs orchestrate multiple cellular functions and play critical roles in cell differentiation and cancer development. We analyzed miRNA profiles in B-cell subsets during peripheral B-cell differentiation as well as in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells. Our results show temporal changes in the miRNA expression during B-cell differentiation with a highly unique miRNA profile in germinal center (GC) lymphocytes. We provide experimental evidence that these changes may be physiologically relevant by demonstrating that GC-enriched hsa-miR-125b down-regulates the expression of IRF4 and PRDM1/BLIMP1, and memory B cell-enriched hsa-miR-223 down-regulates the expression of LMO2. We further demonstrate that although an important component of the biology of a malignant cell is inherited from its nontransformed cellular progenitor-GC centroblasts-aberrant miRNA expression is acquired upon cell transformation. A 9-miRNA signature was identified that could precisely differentiate the 2 major subtypes of DLBCL. Finally, expression of some of the miRNAs in this signature is correlated with clinical outcome of uniformly treated DLBCL patients.

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