Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2008 Jul 30;3(7):e2818. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002818.

Sequence relationships among C. elegans, D. melanogaster and human microRNAs highlight the extensive conservation of microRNAs in biology.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey, United States of America.


microRNAs act in a prevalent and conserved post-transcriptional gene regulatory mechanism that impacts development, homeostasis and disease, yet biological functions for the vast majority of miRNAs remain unknown. Given the power of invertebrate genetics to promote rapid evaluation of miRNA function, recently expanded miRNA identifications (miRBase 10.1), and the importance of assessing potential functional redundancies within and between species, we evaluated miRNA sequence relationships by 5' end match and overall homology criteria to compile a snapshot overview of miRNA families within the C. elegans and D. melanogaster genomes that includes their identified human counterparts. This compilation expands literature documentation of both the number of families and the number of family members, within and between nematode and fly models, and highlights sequences conserved between species pairs or among nematodes, flies and humans. Themes that emerge include the substantial potential for functional redundancy of miRNA sequences within species (84/139 C. elegans miRNAs and 70/152 D. melanogaster miRNAs share significant homology with other miRNAs encoded by their respective genomes), and the striking extent to which miRNAs are conserved across species--over half (73/139) C. elegans miRNAs share sequence homology with miRNAs encoded also in both fly and human genomes. This summary analysis of mature miRNA sequence relationships provides a quickly accessible resource that should facilitate functional and evolutionary analyses of miRNAs and miRNA families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center