MicroRNAs: Fundamental facts and involvement in human diseases
Article first published online: 17 JUL 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today: Reviews
Volume 78, Issue 2, pages 180–189, June 2006
How to Cite
Di Leva, G., Calin, G. A. and Croce, C. M. (2006), MicroRNAs: Fundamental facts and involvement in human diseases. Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today: Reviews, 78: 180–189. doi: 10.1002/bdrc.20073
- Issue published online: 17 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 17 JUL 2006
- National Cancer Institute Program Project Grants
- Kimmel Foundation Scholar award
- CLL Global Research Foundation
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small noncoding RNAs that have been identified in a variety of organisms. These small, 18–22-nucleotide (nt) RNAs are transcribed as parts of longer molecules called pri-miRNAs, which are processed in the nucleus into hairpin RNAs of 70–100 nt, called pre-miRNAs, by the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-specific ribonuclease Drosha. The function of most miRNAs is not known, but for a few members the participation in essential biological processes for the eukaryotic cell is proven. In this review, we summarize how miRNAs were discovered, their biological functions, and importance in animal development, highlighting their function in proliferation, apoptosis, and cell differentiation. Furthermore, we discuss the deregulation of miRNAs in human diseases and their involvement in tumorigenesis. Birth Defects Research (Part C) 78:180–189, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.