The art of microRNA: various strategies leading to gene silencing via an ancient pathway

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Nov;1779(11):655-62. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2008.06.006. Epub 2008 Jun 20.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs), an endogenous type of small RNAs of approximately 22 nucleotides (nt), have long resided in the cells of plants and animals including humans, constituting an ancient pathway of gene regulation in eukaryotes. They have a simple structure in their mature form but carry enormous information that may regulate up to 90% of the human transcriptome. Furthermore, the multi-facets of a miRNA are tightly associated with diverse cellular proteins that make it broadly connected to various physiological and pathological processes. This review aims to examine miRNAs briefly from their biogenesis to their general functions with an emphasis on working mechanisms in regulation of their target mRNAs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • Nuclear Proteins