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Leukemia. 2012 Mar;26(3):395-403. doi: 10.1038/leu.2011.344. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Epigenetic regulation of miRNA genes in acute leukemia.

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1
Oncology Area, Foundation for Applied Medical Research, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that can negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. miRNA expression patterns are regulated during development and differentiation of the hematopoietic system and have an important role in cell processes such as proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation or even in tumorigenesis of human tumors and in particular of hematological malignancies such as acute leukemias. Various miRNAs and their functions have been intensively studied in acute leukemias but the mechanisms that control their expression are largely unknown for the majority of aberrantly expressed miRNAs. miRNA expression can be regulated by the same genetic mechanism that modulate protein coding genes such as mutation, deletion, amplification, loss of heterozygosity and translocations. In this review we focus on the regulation of miRNAs in acute leukemias mediated by alterations in epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone code, describing the role of these alterations in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and prognosis of acute leukemias and their possible use as new therapeutic targets and biomarkers.

PMID:
22143672
DOI:
10.1038/leu.2011.344
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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