MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are commonly deregulated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), affecting critical genes not only through direct targeting, but also through modulation of downstream effectors. Homeobox (Hox) genes balance self-renewal, proliferation, cell death, and differentiation in many tissues and aberrant Hox gene expression can create a predisposition to leukemogenesis in hematopoietic cells. However, possible linkages between the regulatory pathways of Hox genes and miRNAs are not yet fully resolved.

In this study, Drs. Rouhi and Kuchenbauer and team report that microRNA-708 is a putative tumor suppressor and plays a role in the regulation of the HOX program during normal and aberrant hematopoiesis.

For full report see Leukemia. 2019 doi: 10.1038/s41375-019-0651-1

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