Editors' ChoicePlant biology

Plant MicroRNAs Fail to Make the Cut

Science's STKE  30 Mar 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 226, pp. tw119-TW119
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2262004TW119

The functions of the multitudinous microRNAs found in most eukaryotic organisms are slowly beginning to emerge, with recent research in human tissue-culture cells and Drosophila adding to our knowledge of the roles of the founder members of the group, let7 and lin4, in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Chen now shows that the miRNA172 family of microRNAs regulates flower development in Arabidopsis through the floral homeotic gene APETALA2. Furthermore, miRNA172 works by repressing the translation of the APETALA2 messenger RNA, contrary to recent expectations that plant miRNAs function by cleaving their target RNAs. Thus, this plant miRNA works like a typical animal miRNA.

X. Chen, A microRNA as a translational repressor of APETALA2 in Arabidopsis flower development. Science 303, 2022-2025 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]