MicroRNA function in animal development

FEBS Lett. 2005 Oct 31;579(26):5911-22. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2005.07.070. Epub 2005 Aug 10.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression by base-pairing to mRNAs. Hundreds of miRNAs have been identified in various multicellular organisms and many miRNAs are evolutionarily conserved. Although the biological functions of most miRNAs are unknown, miRNAs are predicted to regulate up to 30% of the genes within the human genome. Gradually, we are beginning to understand the functions of individual miRNAs and the general function of miRNA action. Here, we review the recent advances in miRNA biology in animals. Particularly, we focus on the roles of miRNAs in vertebrate development and disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • MicroRNAs / chemistry*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Zebrafish


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • LIN-7 protein, mammalian
  • Membrane Proteins
  • MicroRNAs
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Repressor Proteins
  • let-7 microRNA, C elegans
  • lin-4 microRNA, C elegans
  • RNA