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Science 294 (5543): 853-858

Copyright © 2001 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Identification of Novel Genes Coding for Small Expressed RNAs

Mariana Lagos-Quintana, Reinhard Rauhut, Winfried Lendeckel, Thomas Tuschl*

In Caenorhabditis elegans, lin-4 and let-7 encode 22- and 21-nucleotide (nt) RNAs, respectively, which function as key regulators of developmental timing. Because the appearance of these short RNAs is regulated during development, they are also referred to as small temporal RNAs (stRNAs). We show that many 21- and 22-nt expressed RNAs, termed microRNAs, exist in invertebrates and vertebrates and that some of these novel RNAs, similar to let-7 stRNA, are highly conserved. This suggests that sequence-specific, posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms mediated by small RNAs are more general than previously appreciated.

Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ttuschl{at}

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MicroRNA dysregulation in cancer: diagnostics, monitoring and therapeutics. A comprehensive review.
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Decoding the Cardiac Message: The 2011 Thomas W. Smith Memorial Lecture.
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Managing Microvascular Complications of Diabetes with MicroRNAs.
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Haematologica 97, 160-167
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Identification and characterization of microRNA from chicken adipose tissue and skeletal muscle.
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MicroRNA-155 Promotes Resolution of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1{alpha} Activity during Prolonged Hypoxia.
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Circ. Res. 109, 825-827
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mir-11 limits the proapoptotic function of its host gene, dE2f1.
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Genes & Dev. 25, 1820-1834
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Protective conditioning of the brain: expressway or roadblock?.
P. Mergenthaler and U. Dirnagl (2011)
J. Physiol. 589, 4147-4155
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Selection Fine-Tunes the Expression of MicroRNA Target Genes in Arabidopsis thaliana.
S. Takuno and H. Innan (2011)
Mol. Biol. Evol. 28, 2429-2434
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Small Noncoding RNAs in the Germline.
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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 3, a002717
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'Inc-miRs': functional intron-interrupted miRNA genes.
H. Zhang, J. M. Maniar, and A. Z. Fire (2011)
Genes & Dev. 25, 1589-1594
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MicroRNA-372 Is Down-regulated and Targets Cyclin-dependent Kinase 2 (CDK2) and Cyclin A1 in Human Cervical Cancer, Which May Contribute to Tumorigenesis.
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J. Biol. Chem. 286, 25556-25563
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MicroRNAs in Development and Disease.
D. Sayed and M. Abdellatif (2011)
Physiol Rev 91, 827-887
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