Alterations in the mir-15a/16-1 loci impairs its processing and augments B-1 expansion in de novo mouse model of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

Siddha Kasar, Chingiz Underbayev, Moinuddin Hassan, Ilko Ilev, Heba Degheidy, Steven Bauer, Gerald Marti, Carol Lutz, Elizabeth Raveche, Mona Batish

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New Zealand Black (NZB) mice, a de novo model of CLL, share multiple characteristics with CLL patients, including decreased expression of miR-15a/16-1. We previously discovered a point mutation and deletion in the 3' flanking region of mir-16-1 of NZB and a similar mutation has been found in a small number of CLL patients. However, it was unknown whether the mutation is the cause for the reduced miR-15a/16-1 expression and CLL development. Using PCR and in vitro microRNA processing assays, we found that the NZB sequence alterations in the mir-15a/16-1 loci result in deficient processing of the precursor forms of miR-15a/16-1, in particular, we observe impaired conversion of pri-miR-15a/16-1 to premiR-15a/16-1. The in vitro data was further supported by derivation of congenic strains with replaced mir-15a/16-1 loci at one or both alleles: NZB congenic mice (NmiR+/-) and DBA congenic mice (DmiR-/-). The level of miR-15a/16-1 reflected the configuration of the mir-15a/16- 1 loci with DBA congenic mice (DmiR-/-) showing reduced miR-15a levels compared to homozygous wild-type allele, while the NZB congenic mice (NmiR+/-) showed an increase in miR-15a levels relative to homozygous mutant allele. Similar to Monoclonal B-cell Lymphocytosis (MBL), the precursor stage of the human disease, an overall expansion of the B-1 population was observed in DBA congenic mice (DmiR-/-) relative to wild-type (DmiR+/+). These studies support our hypothesis that the mutations in the mir-15a/16-1 loci are responsible for decreased expression of this regulatory microRNA leading to B-1 expansion and CLL development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0149331
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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