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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2017 May;65:29-37. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2016.03.015. Epub 2016 Mar 18.

MicroRNA function in Drosophila melanogaster.

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Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University Evanston, IL 60208, USA; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


Over the last decade, microRNAs have emerged as critical regulators in the expression and function of animal genomes. This review article discusses the relationship between microRNA-mediated regulation and the biology of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We focus on the roles that microRNAs play in tissue growth, germ cell development, hormone action, and the development and activity of the central nervous system. We also discuss the ways in which microRNAs affect robustness. Many gene regulatory networks are robust; they are relatively insensitive to the precise values of reaction constants and concentrations of molecules acting within the networks. MicroRNAs involved in robustness appear to be nonessential under uniform conditions used in conventional laboratory experiments. However, the robust functions of microRNAs can be revealed when environmental or genetic variation otherwise has an impact on developmental outcomes.


Drosophila; MiRNAs; MicroRNAs

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