Challenges and opportunities of MicroRNAs in lymphomas

Giacoma De Tullio, Vincenza De Fazio, Nicola Sgherza, Carla Minoia, Simona Serratì, Francesca Merchionne, Giacomo Loseto, Angela Iacobazzi, Antonello Rana, Patrizia Petrillo, Nicola Silvestris, Pasquale Iacopino, Attilio Guarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that control the expression of many target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) involved in normal cell functions (differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis). Consequently their aberrant expression and/or functions are related to pathogenesis of many human diseases including cancers. Haematopoiesis is a highly regulated process controlled by a complex network of molecular mechanisms that simultaneously regulate commitment, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Alterations on this network could affect the normal haematopoiesis, leading to the development of haematological malignancies such as lymphomas. The incidence of lymphomas is rising and a significant proportion of patients are refractory to standard therapies. Accurate diagnosis, prognosis and therapy still require additional markers to be used for diagnostic and prognostic purpose and evaluation of clinical outcome. The dysregulated expression or function of miRNAs in various types of lymphomas has been associated with lymphoma pathogenesis. Indeed, many recent findings suggest that almost all lymphomas seem to have a distinct and specific miRNA profile and some miRNAs are related to therapy resistance or have a distinct kinetics during therapy. MiRNAs are easily detectable in fresh or paraffin-embedded diagnostic tissue and serum where they are highly stable and quantifiable within the diagnostic laboratory at each consultation. Accordingly they could be specific biomarkers for lymphoma diagnosis, as well as useful for evaluating prognosis or disease response to the therapy, especially for evaluation of early relapse detection and for greatly assisting clinical decisions making. Here we summarize the current knowledge on the role of miRNAs in normal and aberrant lymphopoiesis in order to highlight their clinical value as specific diagnosis and prognosis markers of lymphoid malignancies or for prediction of therapy response. Finally, we discuss their controversial therapeutic role and future applications in therapy by modulating miRNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14723-14781
Number of pages59
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 17 2014


  • Antagomirs
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Lymphoid development
  • MiRNAs
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Prognostic biomarker
  • Target therapy
  • Therapeutic targets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Challenges and opportunities of MicroRNAs in lymphomas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this