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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2009;2009:594738. doi: 10.1155/2009/594738. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

An evolutionary perspective of animal microRNAs and their targets.

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  • 1Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression through translational inhibition or mRNA degradation by binding to sequences on the target mRNA. miRNA regulation appears to be the most abundant mode of posttranscriptional regulation affecting approximately 50% of the transcriptome. miRNA genes are often clustered and/or located in introns, and each targets a variable and often large number of mRNAs. Here we discuss the genomic architecture of animal miRNA genes and their evolving interaction with their target mRNAs.

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