In genetics, microRNAs (miRNA) are single-stranded RNA molecules of 21-23 nucleotides in length, which regulate gene expression. miRNAs are encoded by genes from whose DNA they are transcribed but miRNAs are not translated into protein (i.e. they are non-coding RNAs); instead each primary transcript (a pri-miRNA) is processed into a short stem-loop structure called a pre-miRNA and finally into a functional miRNA. Mature miRNA molecules are partially complementary to one or more messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules, and their main function is to down-regulate gene expression. They were first described in 1993 by Lee and colleagues in the Victor Ambros lab , yet the term microRNA was only introduced in 2001 in a set of three articles in Science.
Subscribe to rss feed