MicroRNAs and noncoding RNAs in hematological malignancies: molecular, clinical and therapeutic implications

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of 19-24 nucleotide noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) with posttranscriptional regulatory functions. Increasing evidences from the literature show that miRNAs play a pivotal role in human tumorigenesis. Many studies have addressed the role of miRNAs in normal hematopoiesis, giving an interpretative key to the aberrancies of expression observed in human hematological malignancies. Moreover, the recent demonstration that other ncRNAs, the ultraconserved genes (UCGs) or transcribed ultraconserved regions (T-UCRs), are involved in human cancerogenesis, suggests that the wider family of ncRNAs (including both miRNAs and UCGs) could contribute to the development of the malignant phenotype. Here we review the main studies investigating the role of miRNAs and UCRs in both normal hemopoiesis and hematological malignancies, and identify the molecular, clinical and therapeutic implications of these recent findings.

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