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Genes Dev. 2006 Mar 1;20(5):515-24.

Control of translation and mRNA degradation by miRNAs and siRNAs.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


The control of translation and mRNA degradation is an important part of the regulation of gene expression. It is now clear that small RNA molecules are common and effective modulators of gene expression in many eukaryotic cells. These small RNAs that control gene expression can be either endogenous or exogenous micro RNAs (miRNAs) and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and can affect mRNA degradation and translation, as well as chromatin structure, thereby having impacts on transcription rates. In this review, we discuss possible mechanisms by which miRNAs control translation and mRNA degradation. An emerging theme is that miRNAs, and siRNAs to some extent, target mRNAs to the general eukaryotic machinery for mRNA degradation and translation control.

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