Approaches to microRNA discovery

Nat Genet. 2006 Jun;38 Suppl:S2-7. doi: 10.1038/ng1794.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs that can regulate gene expression. Several hundred genes encoding miRNAs have been experimentally identified in animals, and many more are predicted by computational methods. How can new miRNAs be discovered and distinguished from other types of small RNA? Here we summarize current methods for identifying and validating miRNAs and discuss criteria used to define an miRNA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA, Complementary
  • MicroRNAs