Purpose of review: This review highlights recent insights into the roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in pathogenesis of myeloid malignancies and tantalising prospects of miRNA therapy.
Recent findings: New roles for miRNAs in biological and disease processes are constantly being discovered. Although great effort has been put into identifying and cataloguing aberrantly expressed miRNAs in leukaemia, very little is known about the functional consequences of their deregulation in myeloid malignancies. This review will discuss the significance of powerful oncogenic miRNAs such as miR-22 in self-renewal and transformation of haematopoietic stem cells, as well as their ability to induce epigenetic alterations in the pathogenesis of the stem cell disorder myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloid leukaemia.
Summary: Improved understanding of biological roles of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of haematological malignancies will allow rational stratification of patients and provide new therapeutic entries for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes and leukaemia.