A developmental view of microRNA function

Trends Biochem Sci. 2007 Apr;32(4):189-97. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2007.02.006. Epub 2007 Mar 9.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are genomically encoded small non-coding RNAs that regulate flow of genetic information by controlling translation or stability of mRNAs. Recent recognition that many miRNAs are expressed in a tissue-specific manner during development of organisms, from worms to humans, has revealed a novel mechanism by which the proteome is regulated during the dynamic events of cell-lineage decisions and morphogenesis. Advances in the understanding of miRNA biogenesis, target recognition and participation in regulatory networks demonstrate a role for miRNAs in lineage decisions of progenitor cells and organogenesis. Future discoveries in this area are likely to reveal developmental-regulation and disease mechanisms related to miRNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / physiology
  • Models, Genetic
  • Vertebrates / embryology
  • Vertebrates / genetics*
  • Vertebrates / growth & development


  • MicroRNAs