New human and mouse microRNA genes found by homology search

FEBS J. 2005 Jan;272(1):59-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.2004.04389.x.


Conservation of microRNAs (miRNAs) among species suggests that they bear conserved biological functions. However, sequencing of new miRNAs has not always been accompanied by a search for orthologues in other species. I report herein the results of a systematic search for interspecies orthologues of miRNA precursors, leading to the identification of 35 human and 45 mouse new putative miRNA genes. MicroRNA tracks were written to visualize miRNAs in human and mouse genomes on the UCSC Genome Browser. Based on their localization, miRNA precursors can be excised either from introns or exons of mRNAs. When intronic miRNAs are antisense to the apparent host gene, they appear to originate from ill-characterized antisense transcription units. Exonic miRNAs are, in general, nonprotein-coding, poorly conserved genes in sense orientation. In three cases, the excision of an miRNA from a protein-coding mRNA might lead to the degradation of the rest of the transcript. Moreover, three new examples of miRNAs fully complementary to an mRNA are reported. Among these, miR135a might control the stability and/or translation of an alternative form of the glycerate kinase mRNA by RNA interference. I also discuss the presence of human miRNAs in introns of paralogous genes and in miRNA clusters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Humans
  • Introns
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • MicroRNAs