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Science. 2002 Sep 20;297(5589):2053-6.

Cleavage of Scarecrow-like mRNA targets directed by a class of Arabidopsis miRNA.

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  • 1Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology, and Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are regulatory molecules that mediate effects by interacting with messenger RNA (mRNA) targets. Here we show that Arabidopsis thaliana miRNA 39 (also known as miR171), a 21-ribonucleotide species that accumulates predominantly in inflorescence tissues, is produced from an intergenic region in chromosome III and functionally interacts with mRNA targets encoding several members of the Scarecrow-like (SCL) family of putative transcription factors. miRNA 39 is complementary to an internal region of three SCL mRNAs. The interaction results in specific cleavage of target mRNA within the region of complementarity, indicating that this class of miRNA functions like small interfering RNA associated with RNA silencing to guide sequence-specific cleavage in a developmentally controlled manner.

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