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Brief Funct Genomics. 2016 Jan;15(1):65-71. doi: 10.1093/bfgp/elv026. Epub 2015 Jul 6.

MicroRNA nomenclature and the need for a revised naming prescription.


A central environment and interface for microRNA (miRNA) registry and repository and a general standardized framework for their systematic annotation was established over a decade ago. However, the numbers of experimentally and computationally identified miRNAs are swiftly accumulating, and new aspects of miRNA-mediated gene regulation are being revealed. Currently, it is of great significance that the annotation framework should be redefined to include newly discovered miRNA species such as the variants of mature miRNAs (isomiRNAs), and organellar miRNAs: cipomiRNAs and mitomiRNAs. It is also of great importance that key terminology referring to the novelty, evolutionary history or biogenesis of miRNAs, as well as the confidence of their identification are standardized in the literature and disseminated in a central miRNA registry. Here, we review the status of miRNA nomenclature, curation and critical points of need for a revision of miRNA nomenclature and terminology.


bona fide miRNAs; canonical miRNAs; cipomiRs; isomiRNAs; microRNAs; mitomiRs

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