Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 2008
Publication Date: July 8, 2008
Citation: Mcdaneld, T.G. 2008. MicroRNA: Mechanism of Gene Regulation. Journal of Animal Science Supplement. J. Anim. Sci. 86(Suppl. 2):162. Technical Abstract: MicroRNA (miR) are a class of small RNAs that regulate gene expression by inhibiting translation of protein encoding transcripts through activation of a specific cellular pathway. The small RNA classified as miR are short sequences of 18-26 nucleotide long, encoded by nuclear genes with distinctive properties that comprise 1-5% of known genes. During processing from the primary transcript, the mature miR sequence is loaded into an RNA:protein complex known as the “RNA induced silencing complex” (RISC). The sequence of the miR loaded in the complex targets the RISC to specific binding sites in the 3’UTR of mRNA transcripts, resulting in either degradation of the miR:mRNA complex or translocation to P-bodies. In either case, association of RISC with mRNA causes decreased translation of the targeted gene product. Approximately 40% of genes have transcripts that are potential targets for miR, suggesting that miR plays an important role in multiple cellular processes. A single miR can target numerous distinct mRNA for decreased translation, and as a result miR appear to be intimately involved in developmental decisions including cell fate, cell cycle progression, apoptosis, adipocyte differentiation, and processes that alter muscle development and growth. Implication of miR in such a wide array of cellular processes has increased interest in evaluating miR in multiple biological models.