• Open Access

microRNA expression in lymphoid malignancies: new hope for diagnosis and therapy?


  • Charles Henderson Lawrie

    Corresponding author
    1. Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
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  • Guest Editor: M. Ivan

*Correspondence to: Charles LAWRIE,
Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences,
University of Oxford, Level 4,
John Radcliffe Hospital,
Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.
Tel.: +44 (0)1865 220485
Fax: +44 (0)1865 221778
E-mail: charles.lawrie@ndcls.ox.ac.uk


  • • Introduction
    • - A concise history of small RNA
    • - microRNA biosynthesis and function
    • - Aberrant expression of microRNA is a common feature of cancer
  • • microRNAs in lymphocyte development
  • • microRNAs in lymphoid malignancy
    • - Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
    • - Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL)
    • - Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
      • - Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
      • - Other non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
    • - microRNA expression in T-cell lymphoma
    • - Lymphoma-associated oncomirs (miR-155 and the miR-17–92 cluster)
  • • microRNA: a new class of diagnostic and therapeuti agents for lymphoma?
    • - microRNAs as diagnostic/prognostic bio-markers
    • - microRNAs as non-invasive diagnostic tools
    • • microRNAs as therapeutic agents


microRNAs are a newly discovered class of short (∼22 nt) naturally occurring single-stranded RNA molecules that regulate the expression of target genes post-transcriptionally. Despite only being discovered 7 years ago, microRNAs have been implicated as key regulatory molecules in nearly every biological process examined so far and abnormal expression of microRNAs have been linked to many forms of disease including cancer where they can function as both tumour-suppressors and oncogenes. So why are microRNAs causing so much excitement? And will this excitement translate into new medical breakthroughs? This review attempts to answer these questions in the wider context of cancer, focusing on the role that microRNAs play in normal lymphoid development and malignancy.