Frequent deletions and down-regulation of micro- RNA genes miR15 and miR16 at 13q14 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Micro-RNAs (miR genes) are a large family of highly conserved noncoding genes thought to be involved in temporal and tissue-specific gene regulation. MiRs are transcribed as short hairpin precursors (≈70 nt) and are processed into active 21- to 22-nt RNAs by Dicer, a ribonuclease that recognizes target mRNAs via base-pairing interactions. Here we show that miR15 and miR16 are located at chromosome 13q14, a region deleted in more than half of B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemias (B-CLL). Detailed deletion and expression analysis shows that miR15 and miR16 are located within a 30-kb region of loss in CLL, and that both genes are deleted or down-regulated in the majority (≈68%) of CLL cases.