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Trends Genet. 2008 Feb;24(2):56-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2007.11.002. Epub 2008 Jan 14.

Evolution of complexity in miRNA-mediated gene regulation systems.

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  • 1Human Genetics Center, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Using Arabidopsis microRNA (miRNA)-mediated gene regulation system as a model, we investigated how complex systems evolve with special attention to selection to maintain the systems. We found that the copy number of miRNA genes within each system is a key factor to determine the complexity of the system, indicating a crucial role of gene duplication to increase the complexity. Furthermore, we show that the mode of selection to maintain the systems depend on their complexity levels.

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