Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive B cell lymphoma with a poor prognosis. It is characterized by the t(11;14)(q13;q32) translocation, resulting in overexpression of CCND1. Morphologically, MCL is categorised into two types: classical MCL (cMCL) and aggressive MCL (aMCL), with a proportion of cMCL progressing to develop into aMCL. miRNAs are currently considered to be important regulators for cell behavior and are deregulated in many malignancies. Although several genetic alterations have been implicated in the transformation of cMCL to aMCL, the involvement of miRNAs in transformation is not known. In an effort to identify the miRNAs related to the transformation of MCL, miRNA microarray analyses were used for cMCL and aMCL cases. These analyses demonstrated significant differences in the expression of seven microRNAs based on a t-test (p-value <0.05); miR-15b was greatly upregulated in aMCL. Locked nucleic acid in situ hybridization showed increased staining of miR-15b in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections of aMCL. These results correlated well with the microRNA microarray analysis. Although the molecular functions of miR-15b are largely unknown, it has been found to be associated with the cell cycle and apoptosis. However, the physiological significance of increased miR-15b in MCL is still unknown. Our present findings suggest that the upregulated expression of miR-15b is likely to play an important role in the transformation of cMCL to aMCL.
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