MiR-15a and miR-16-1 in cancer: Discovery, function and future perspectives

R. I. Aqeilan, G. A. Calin, C. M. Croce

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

557 Scopus citations


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) encoded by the miR-15/16 cluster are known to act as tumor suppressors. Expression of these miRNAs inhibits cell proliferation, promotes apoptosis of cancer cells, and suppresses tumorigenicity both in vitro and in vivo. miR-15a and miR-16-1 function by targeting multiple oncogenes, including BCL2, MCL1, CCND1, and WNT3A. Down-regulation of these miRNAs has been reported in chronic lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL), pituitary adenomas, and prostate carcinoma. This review summarizes the discovery, functions, and clinical relevance of these miRNAs in cancer, particularly CLL.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. RIA is supported by a Ma’of fellowship and NIH R01DK079217 grant. GAC is supported as a Fellow by The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Research Trust, as a Fellow of The University of Texas System Regents Research Scholar, and by the Ladjevardian Regents Research Scholar Fund. Work in CMC’s laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health. The authors thank Virginia M Mohlere for the editing work on this manuscript.


  • Apoptosis
  • BCL2
  • CLL
  • MiR15/16 cluster
  • MicroRNA


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