Title

A growing molecular toolbox for the functional analysis of microRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans

Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Applied Science

Journal Title

Briefings in Functional Genomics

Pub Date

2011

Volume

10

Issue

4

First Page

175

Abstract

With the growing number of microRNAs (miRNAs) being identified each year, more innovative molecular tools are required to efficiently characterize these small RNAs in living animal systems. Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model to study how miRNAs regulate gene expression and control diverse biological processes during development and in the adult. Genetic strategies such as large-scale miRNA deletion studies in nematodes have been used with limited success since the majority of miRNA genes do not exhibit phenotypes when individually mutated. Recent work has indicated that miRNAs function in complex regulatory networks with other small RNAs and protein-coding genes, and therefore the challenge will be to uncover these functional redundancies. The use of miRNA inhibitors such as synthetic antisense 2'-O-methyl oligoribonucleotides is emerging as a promising in vivo approach to dissect out the intricacies of miRNA regulation.

DOI

10.1093/bfgp/elr012

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