Editors' ChoiceDevelopmental Biology

MicroRNAs Strike a Balance

STKE  16 Oct 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 408, pp. tw378
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4082007tw378

Hundreds of microRNAs (miRNAs) are thought to repress thousands of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs), but it has been difficult to study the interaction between individual miRNA-mRNA pairs. Choi et al. developed a way to block the interaction between a miRNA and specific target sites. Antisense morpholino oligonucleotides complementary to miRNA binding sites could protect specific mRNAs from miRNA-mediated repression. Applying this technology during zebrafish embryogenesis, they found that the miRNA miR-430 inhibits an antagonist and an agonist of the Nodal signaling pathway. Loss of repression led to an imbalance of signaling and abnormal development.

W.-Y. Choi, A. J. Giraldez, A. F. Schier, Target protectors reveal dampening and balancing of Nodal agonist and antagonist by miR-430. Science 318, 271-274 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]