Expanding roles for miRNAs and siRNAs in cell regulation

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Apr;16(2):127-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2004.02.006.


The role of small RNAs as key regulators of mRNA turnover and translation has been well established. Recent advances indicate that the small RNAs termed microRNAs play important roles in cell proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation. Moreover, the microRNA mechanism is an efficient means to regulate production of a diverse range of proteins. As new microRNAs and their mRNA targets rapidly emerge, it is becoming apparent that RNA-based regulation of mRNAs may rival ubiquitination as a mechanism to control protein levels.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Silencing / physiology
  • Heterochromatin / genetics
  • Heterochromatin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / physiology*


  • Heterochromatin
  • MicroRNAs
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering