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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2003 Aug;7(4):516-23.

MicroRNAs: key participants in gene regulatory networks.

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National Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Science & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China.


microRNAs (miRNAs) are a newly identified and surprisingly large class of endogenous tiny regulatory RNAs. They exhibit various expressional patterns and are highly conserved across species. Recently, several regulatory targets of miRNAs have been predicted. Functional analysis of the potential targets indicated that miRNAs may be involved in a wide range of pivotally biological events. The nature of miRNAs and their intersection with small interfering RNAs endow them with many regulatory advantages over proteins and make them a potent and novel means to regulate gene expression at almost all levels. Here we argue that miRNAs are key participants in gene regulatory network.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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