Main Article Content
The discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) has revealed a new layer of gene expression regulation that affects many normal and pathologic biological systems. Among the malignancies affected by the dysregulation of miRNAs there are cancers of lymphoid origin, in which miRNAs are thought to have tumor suppressive or tumor promoting activities, depending on the nature of their specific targets. In the last 4-5 years, the experimental field that provided the deepest insights into the in vivo biology of miRNAs is that of mouse modeling in which transgenic and knockout animals mimic, respectively, over-expression or down-regulation of specific miRNAs involved in human leukemia/lymphoma. This review discusses recent advances in our understanding of lymphoid malignancies based on the natural and engineered mouse models of three different miRNAs, miR-15a/16-1 cluster, miR-155, and miR-17-92 cluster.