Editors' ChoiceGene Expression

MicroRNA in HOX

Science's STKE  27 Apr 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 230, pp. tw152-TW152
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2302004TW152

Homeobox (HOX) genes are highly conserved transcriptional regulators that play a central role in development and pattern formation of higher eukaryotes. Genes encoding microRNAs, tiny 22-nucleotide RNAs involved in gene silencing, are found in almost all eukaryotes and have been implicated in a number of important cell and developmental pathways. Yekta et al. now show that an evolutionarily conserved and essentially complementary binding site for the miRNA miR-196 is found in the HOX gene HOX8B. miR-196 directs the cleavage of HOX8B messenger RNA during mouse development, and other evidence suggests that miR-196 can regulate the translation of other HOX genes in the mouse HOX cluster.

S. Yekta, I. Shih, D. P. Bartel, MicroRNA-directed cleavage of HOXB8 mRNA. Science 304, 594-596 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]