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Keywords:

  • microRNA biogenesis;
  • microRNA processing
  • • 
    Introduction
  • • 
    microRNA processing and function
  • • 
    Regulation of microRNA processing during development, differentiation and normal cell function
    • - 
      Effects of RNA editing on miRNA processing
    • - 
      Effects of SNPs and mutations on miRNA processing
  • • 
    Examples of altered miRNA processing in cancer
    • - 
      Altered expression levels of Dicer in cancer
    • - 
      Evidence of post-transcriptional regulation of miRNA expression in cancer
  • • 
    Conclusion

Abstract

microRNA (miRNA) is a class of small, noncoding, regulatory RNAs. The ∼ 21 nt mature miRNA is processed from larger precursor molecules following a coordinated series of events. In theory, miRNA processing may be regulated at any of these steps. A growing body of evidence has demonstrated various steps in the miRNA biogenesis process for which regulation occurs. RNA editing of miRNA precursors, SNPs or mutations in the miRNA precursors, regulation by RNA binding proteins, alterations in the levels of key processing proteins, as well as a number of unknown mechanisms contribute to the regulation of miRNA processing. This article reviews the available literature on the regulation of miRNA processing that occurs within normal cells, during development or in diseases such as cancer.