MicroRNAs: genomics, biogenesis, mechanism, and function

Cell. 2004 Jan 23;116(2):281-97. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(04)00045-5.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous approximately 22 nt RNAs that can play important regulatory roles in animals and plants by targeting mRNAs for cleavage or translational repression. Although they escaped notice until relatively recently, miRNAs comprise one of the more abundant classes of gene regulatory molecules in multicellular organisms and likely influence the output of many protein-coding genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Drosophila
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Proteins / physiology
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Species Specificity
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • MicroRNAs
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Small Interfering