Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer in children. Numerous studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) could play a role in this disease. Nowadays, more than 2500 miRNAs have been described, that regulate more than 50% of genes, including those involved in B-cell maturation, differentiation and proliferation. Genetic variants in miRNAs can alter their own levels or function, affecting their target gene expression, and then, may affect ALL risk. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the role of miRNA genetic variants in B-ALL susceptibility. We analyzed all variants in pre-miRNAs (MAF > 1%) in two independent cohorts from Spain and Slovenia and inferred their functional effect by in silico analysis. SNPs rs12402181 in miR-3117 and rs62571442 in miR-3689d2 were associated with ALL risk in both cohorts, possibly through their effect on MAPK signalling pathway. These SNPs could be novel markers for ALL susceptibility.
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