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J Virol. 2009 Dec;83(24):12751-8. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01325-09. Epub 2009 Oct 7.

Characterization of viral and human RNAs smaller than canonical MicroRNAs.

Author information

1
Department of Computational Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.

Abstract

Recently identified small (20 to 40 bases) RNAs, such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and endogenous small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) participate in important cellular pathways. In this report, we systematically characterized several novel features of human and viral RNA products smaller than miRNAs. We found that Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus K12-1 miRNA (23 bases) associates with a distinct, unusually small (17-base) RNA (usRNA) that can effectively downregulate a K12-1 miRNA target, human RAD21, suggesting that stable degradation-like products may also contribute to gene regulation. High-throughput sequencing reveals a diverse set of human miRNA-derived usRNAs and other non-miRNA-derived usRNAs. Human miRNA-derived usRNAs preferentially match to 5' ends of miRNAs and are also more likely to associate with the siRNA effector protein Ago2 than with Ago1. Many non-miRNA-derived usRNAs associate with Ago proteins and also frequently contain C-rich 3'-specific motifs that are overrepresented in comparison to Piwi-interacting RNAs and transcription start site-associated RNAs. We postulate that approximately 30% of usRNAs could have evolved to participate in biological processes, including gene silencing.

PMID:
19812168
PMCID:
PMC2786840
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.01325-09
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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