Prospects & Overviews
Species-specific microRNA regulation influences phenotypic variability
Perspectives on species-specific microRNA regulation
Article first published online: 17 JUL 2013
© 2013 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 35, Issue 10, pages 881–888, October 2013
How to Cite
Mor, E. and Shomron, N. (2013), Species-specific microRNA regulation influences phenotypic variability. Bioessays, 35: 881–888. doi: 10.1002/bies.201200157
- Issue published online: 14 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 17 JUL 2013
- National Institutes of Health (NIDCD). Grant Number: R01DC011835
- Israel Science Foundation (grant number 41/11)
- miRNA, species-specific
Phenotypic divergence among animal species may be due in part to species-specific (SS) regulation of gene expression by small, non-coding regulatory RNAs termed “microRNAs”. This phenomenon can be modulated by several variables. First, microRNA genes vary by their level of conservation, many of them being SS, or unique to a particular evolutionary lineage. Second, microRNA expression levels vary spatially and temporally in different species. Lastly, while microRNAs bind the 3′UTR of target genes in order to silence their expression, the binding sites themselves are often non-conserved. The variability of the miRNA-target paradigm between different species is thus multifactorial, and this paradigm has only just started to gain attention from researchers in various fields. Here we present and discuss recent findings regarding the characteristics and implications of SS microRNA regulation.