Early investigations of this group found that MicroRNAs or miRs are crucial for the generation of all kinds of blood cells. Importantly however, the concentration of miRs are different in AML patients. Some miRs stimulate AML development while other miRs inhibit AML growth. The latter are often absent in AML. One of these is miR-139, which is also important to remove precursor blood cells with DNA damage.
The current project investigates how miR-139 is regulated in cells with the purpose to be able to switch it on again in AML cells. Importantly they will investigate what happens in precursor blood cells with an increased miR-139 concentration, normal and without miR-139.
Understanding the way miR-139 is regulated in cells and what happens with different concentrations (or absence) of mi-R139 is needed to develop new treatments of AML patients.