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RNA Biol. 2011 Jan-Feb;8(1):71-6. Epub 2011 Jan 1.

Smad-mediated miRNA processing: a critical role for a conserved RNA sequence.

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  • 1Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.


microRNAs (miRNAs) are short, 21-24 nucleotide (nt), non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate the expression of messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Through the regulation of their cognate mRNAs, miRNAs control diverse aspects of biology, including development, cellular differentiation, proliferation, metabolism, and death. Thus, miRNAs play a critical role in the determination of normal cellular physiology and misexpression of miRNAs leads to pathological responses. Understanding the mechanisms that control miRNA expression is an important step forward as novel functions of miRNAs continue to be uncovered. In addition to transcriptional regulation, multiple pathways of post-transcriptional modulation of miRNA expression have been uncovered. In this review we discuss the role of the Smads in the regulation of miRNA processing in response to Transforming Growth Factor-β stimulation.

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