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Cooperation is key—a new way of looking at MicroRNA and how it controls gene expression

Cell article, Han and his colleagues show that you don't need the full-length complementary microRNA at all. They observed that microRNA was involved in the degradation of genes with AU rich elements, and that the microRNA used only eight bases to target the mRNA. Given that microRNAs have such a short targeting sequence, they may have broad targeting ability, says Han.

Significantly, the researchers found that for the AU-rich element degradation to work, the mRNA had to interact with multiple RNA binding proteins as well as microRNA. This suggests that the RNA binding proteins are there to facilitate the degradation and that microRNA is required as well. They believe that the microRNA and protein form a large complex of molecules, though they do not know exactly how many proteins and other molecules are involved.

The article, "Involvement of MicroRNA in AU-Rich Element-Mediated mRNA Instability" by Qing Jing, Shuang Huang, Sabine Guth, Tyler Zarubin, Andrea Motoyama, Jianming Chen, Franco Di Padova, Sheng-Cai Lin, Hermann Gram, and Jiahuai Han and appears in the March 11, 2005 issue of the journal Cell (120, 1-12).


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Source:The Scripps Institute


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