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Cell. 2002 Aug 23;110(4):513-20.

Prediction of plant microRNA targets.

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, MA 02142, USA.


We predict regulatory targets for 14 Arabidopsis microRNAs (miRNAs) by identifying mRNAs with near complementarity. Complementary sites within predicted targets are conserved in rice. Of the 49 predicted targets, 34 are members of transcription factor gene families involved in developmental patterning or cell differentiation. The near-perfect complementarity between plant miRNAs and their targets suggests that many plant miRNAs act similarly to small interfering RNAs and direct mRNA cleavage. The targeting of developmental transcription factors suggests that many plant miRNAs function during cellular differentiation to clear key regulatory transcripts from daughter cell lineages.

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