MicroRNAs in B-cells: from normal differentiation to treatment of malignancies
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Sara Correia Marques1,2, Maria Bach Laursen1, Julie Støve Bødker1, Malene Krag Kjeldsen1, Steffen Falgreen1, Alexander Schmitz1, Martin Bøgsted1,3, Hans Erik Johnsen1,3,4 and Karen Dybkaer1,3
1 Department of Haematology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
2 Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark
3 Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Denmark
4 Clinical Cancer Research Center, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark
Karen Dybkaer, email:
Keywords: MicroRNA, B-cell, Differentiation, B-cell malignancies, Drug response
Received: September 16, 2014 Accepted: December 09, 2014 Published: December 10, 2014
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that play important post-transcriptional regulatory roles in a wide range of biological processes. They are fundamental to the normal development of cells, and evidence suggests that the deregulation of specific miRNAs is involved in malignant transformation due to their function as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. We know that miRNAs are involved in the development of normal B-cells and that different B-cell subsets express specific miRNA profiles according to their degree of differentiation. B-cell-derived malignancies contain transcription signatures reminiscent of their cell of origin. Therefore, we believe that normal and malignant B-cells share features of regulatory networks controlling differentiation and the ability to respond to treatment. The involvement of miRNAs in these processes makes them good biomarker candidates. B-cell malignancies are highly prevalent, and the poor overall survival of patients with these malignancies demands an improvement in stratification according to prognosis and therapy response, wherein we believe miRNAs may be of great importance. We have critically reviewed the literature, and here we sum up the findings of miRNA studies in hematological cancers, from the development and progression of the disease to the response to treatment, with a particular emphasis on B-cell malignancies.
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