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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

MicroRNAs in B cell development and malignancy

Thilini R Fernando1, Norma I Rodriguez-Malave12 and Dinesh S Rao1345*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

2 Cellular and Molecular Pathology Ph.D. Program, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

3 Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA, 650 Charles E. Young Drive South, Factor 8-684, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

4 Broad Stem Cell Research Center, UCLA, 650 Charles E. Young Drive South, Factor 12-272, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

5 Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA

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Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2012, 5:7  doi:10.1186/1756-8722-5-7

Published: 8 March 2012

Abstract

MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules that regulate gene expression and play critical roles in B cell development and malignancy. miRNA expression is important globally, as B cell specific knockouts of Dicer show profound defects in B cell development; and is also critical at the level of specific miRNAs. In this review, we discuss miRNAs that are involved in normal B cell development in the bone marrow and during B cell activation and terminal differentiation in the periphery. Next, we turn to miRNAs that are dysregulated during diseases of B cells, including malignant diseases and autoimmunity. Further study of miRNAs and their targets will lead to a better understanding of B cell development, and should also lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies against B cell diseases.