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Cell Metab. 2006 Jul;4(1):9-12.

MicroRNAs: a new class of regulatory genes affecting metabolism.

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Laboratory of Metabolic Diseases, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, New York 10021, USA.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression by binding to target mRNAs, which leads to reduced protein synthesis and sometimes decreased steady-state mRNA levels. Although hundreds of miRNAs have been identified, much less is known about their biological function. Several studies have provided evidence that miRNAs affect pathways that are fundamental for metabolic control in higher organisms such as adipocyte and skeletal muscle differentiation. Furthermore, some miRNAs have been implicated in lipid, amino acid, and glucose homeostasis. These studies open the possibility that miRNAs may contribute to common metabolic diseases and point to novel therapeutic opportunities based on targeting of miRNAs.

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