The microRNA-argonaute complex: a platform for mRNA modulation

Hammell, C. M. (July 2008) The microRNA-argonaute complex: a platform for mRNA modulation. RNA Biology, 5 (3). pp. 123-7. ISSN 1555-8584 (Electronic)1547-6286 (Linking)

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URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18698153
DOI: 10.4161/rna.5.3.6570

Abstract

With the cloning the lin-4 gene in 1993, the possibility of an approximately 21-nucleotide RNA functioning as a regulatory molecule intrigued a relatively small number of scientists. This idea appeared to be a peculiarity of C. elegans as it was not until seven years later that the second, more conserved small RNA, let-7 was cloned. A spate of papers in 2000 and 2001 revealed that the underlying properties of the lin-4 and let-7 genes were a common facet of animal genomes and the absolute number and potential of this new class of gene products requires us to integrate them with other aspects of gene expression and evolution.(1-3) A wealth of information has accumulated in the intervening years that outline, in general, how these small RNAs are expressed and processed into a functional form. Contemporaneous to these studies, experiments also identified a cadre of evolutionarily conserved proteins, the Argonautes (Agos) that directly associate with and are required for microRNA function. Computational and experimental methods have led the identification of many functional mRNA targets. In the last few years, a significant body of work has focused on resolving two key issues: How do microRNAs function in particular genetic contexts (i.e., as "molecular switches" or "fine-tuners" of gene expression) and secondly, what facet/s of mRNA metabolism do microRNAs modulate in their role(s) as a regulatory molecule? The primary objective here is not to comprehensively compare the competing models of microRNA function (reviewed in refs. 4-6) but to frame a potential solution to these two fundamental questions by suggesting that the core microRNA-Ribonucleic-Protein Complex (microRNP), composed of the microRNA and an Ago protein, functions as a highly modifiable scaffold that associates with specific mRNAs via the bound microRNA and facilitates the localized activity of a variety of accessory proteins. The resulting composite mechanism could account for the apparent complexities of measuring microRNA activity and furthermore, accommodate the broad levels of regulation observed in vivo.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals Eukaryotic Initiation Factors/ metabolism Humans MicroRNAs/ metabolism RNA, Messenger/genetics/metabolism
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > protein structure, function, modification
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > protein structure, function, modification > protein types > argonaute proteins
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > miRNA
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > miRNA

bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > protein structure, function, modification > protein types
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Hammell C. lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: July 2008
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2013 16:06
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2013 16:06
Related URLs:
URI: http://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/27571

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