Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Format of Original

5 p.

Publication Date

7-2010

Publisher

Elsevier

Source Publication

Current Biology

Source ISSN

0960-9822

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that regulate the translation and/or stability of their mRNA targets. Previous work showed that for most miRNA genes of C. elegans, single-gene knockouts did not result in detectable mutant phenotypes [1]. This may be due, in part, to functional redundancy between miRNAs. However, in most cases, worms carrying deletions of all members of a miRNA family do not display strong mutant phenotypes [2]. They may function together with unrelated miRNAs or with non-miRNA genes in regulatory networks, possibly to ensure the robustness of developmental mechanisms. To test this, we examined worms lacking individual miRNAs in genetically sensitized backgrounds. These include genetic backgrounds with reduced processing and activity of all miRNAs or with reduced activity of a wide array of regulatory pathways [3]. With these two approaches, we identified mutant phenotypes for 25 out of 31 miRNAs included in this analysis. Our findings describe biological roles for individual miRNAs and suggest that the use of sensitized genetic backgrounds provides an efficient approach for miRNA functional analysis.

Comments

Accepted version. Current Biology, Vol. 20, No. 14 (July 2010): 1321-1325. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.05.062. © Elsevier 2010. Used with permission.

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