The diverse functions of microRNAs in animal development and disease

Dev Cell. 2006 Oct;11(4):441-50. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2006.09.009.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) control gene expression by translational inhibition and destabilization of mRNAs. While hundreds of miRNAs have been found, only a few have been studied in detail. miRNAs have been implicated in tissue morphogenesis, cellular processes like apoptosis, and major signaling pathways. Emerging evidence suggests a direct link between miRNAs and disease, and miRNA expression signatures are associated with various types of cancer. In addition, the gain and loss of miRNA target sites appears to be causal to some genetic disorders. Here, we discuss the current literature on the role of miRNAs in animal development and disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Embryology*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Models, Biological


  • MicroRNAs