Affiliation: Institute of Cell Biology (Cancer Research), Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Virchowstr. 173, 45122 Essen, Germany.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small (18~25 nucleotides long) non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression on the post-transcriptional level. During the last decade, the field of miRNA research has been exponentially expanding, revealing the widespread role of these molecules in numerous biological processes. Aberrant miRNA expression has been documented in multiple haematologic malignancies, including B cell lymphomas. There is compelling evidence that miRNAs can function as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes in lymphoid malignancies. In this review, we recapitulate the current knowledge of miRNA expression in B cell malignancies and discuss the accumulating evidence for a major role of miRNA deregulation in the development of B cell-derived lymphoid tumors.