Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 25;7:11438. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11438.

Host gene constraints and genomic context impact the expression and evolution of human microRNAs.

Author information

Centro de Oncologia Molecular, Hospital Sírio-Libanês, Rua Daher Cutait 69, 01308-060 São Paulo, Brazil.
Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes 748, 05508-000 São Paulo, Brazil.
Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matao 277, 05508-090 São Paulo, Brazil.


Increasing evidence has shown that recent miRNAs tend to emerge within coding genes. Here we conjecture that human miRNA evolution is tightly influenced by the genomic context, especially by host genes. Our findings show a preferential emergence of intragenic miRNAs within old genes. We found that miRNAs within old host genes are significantly more broadly expressed than those within young ones. Young miRNAs within old genes are more broadly expressed than their intergenic counterparts, suggesting that young miRNAs have an initial advantage by residing in old genes, and benefit from their hosts' expression control and from the exposure to diverse cellular contexts and target genes. Our results demonstrate that host genes may provide stronger expression constraints to intragenic miRNAs in the long run. We also report associated functional implications, highlighting the genomic context and host genes as driving factors for the expression and evolution of human miRNAs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center