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MicroRNA assassins: factors that regulate the disappearance of miRNAs

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology volume 17, pages 510 (2010) | Download Citation

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) control essential gene regulatory pathways in plants and animals. Serving as guides in silencing complexes, miRNAs direct Argonaute proteins to specific target messenger RNAs to repress protein expression. The mature, 22-nucleotide (nt) miRNA is the product of multiple processing steps, and recent studies have uncovered factors that directly control the stability of the functional RNA form. Although alteration of miRNA levels has been linked to numerous disease states, the mechanisms responsible for stabilized or reduced miRNA expression have been largely elusive. The discovery of specific cis-acting modifications and trans-acting proteins that affect miRNA half-life reveals new elements that contribute to the homeostasis of these vital regulatory molecules.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank D. Zisoulis for critical reading of the manuscript and our colleagues for helpful discussions. Z.S.K. is supported in part by a US National Institutes of Health Cellular and Molecular Graduate Student Training Grant, and research in the Pasquinelli laboratory is supported by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (GM071654-01) and the Keck, Searle, V, Emerald and Peter Gruber Foundations.

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  1. Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.

    • Zoya S Kai
    •  & Amy E Pasquinelli

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Correspondence to Amy E Pasquinelli.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.1762

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