Identification of hundreds of conserved and nonconserved human microRNAs

Nat Genet. 2005 Jul;37(7):766-70. doi: 10.1038/ng1590. Epub 2005 Jun 19.


MicroRNAs are noncoding RNAs of approximately 22 nucleotides that suppress translation of target genes by binding to their mRNA and thus have a central role in gene regulation in health and disease. To date, 222 human microRNAs have been identified, 86 by random cloning and sequencing, 43 by computational approaches and the rest as putative microRNAs homologous to microRNAs in other species. To prove our hypothesis that the total number of microRNAs may be much larger and that several have emerged only in primates, we developed an integrative approach combining bioinformatic predictions with microarray analysis and sequence-directed cloning. Here we report the use of this approach to clone and sequence 89 new human microRNAs (nearly doubling the current number of sequenced human microRNAs), 53 of which are not conserved beyond primates. These findings suggest that the total number of human microRNAs is at least 800.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / analysis*
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • MicroRNAs