New perspectives on neoplasia and the RNA world.

Hematological oncology

PubMedID: 16216032

Hall PA, Russell SH. New perspectives on neoplasia and the RNA world. Hematol Oncol. 2005;23(2):49-53.
Key tenets of modern biology are the central place of protein in cell regulation and the flow of genetic information from DNA to RNA to protein. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that genomes are much more complex than hitherto thought with remarkably complex regulatory systems. The notion that the fraction of the genome involved in coding protein is all that matters is increasingly being questioned as the roles of non-coding RNA (ncRNA) in cellular systems becomes recognised. The RNA world, including microRNA (miRNA), small inhibitory RNA (siRNA) and other RNA species, are now recognised as being crucial for the regulation of chromatin structure, gene expression, mRNA processing and splicing, mRNA stability and translational control. Furthermore such ncRNA systems may be perturbed in disease states and most notably in neoplasia, including in haematological malignancies. Here the burgeoning evidence for a role of miRNA in neoplasia is reviewed and the importance of understanding the RNA world emphasised.