Biological principles of microRNA-mediated regulation: shared themes amid diversity

Nat Rev Genet. 2008 Nov;9(11):831-42. doi: 10.1038/nrg2455.


Regulation of gene activity by microRNAs is critical to myriad aspects of eukaryotic development and physiology. Amidst an extensive regulatory web that is predicted to involve thousands of transcripts, emergent themes are now beginning to illustrate how microRNAs have been incorporated into diverse settings. These include potent inhibition of individual key targets, fine-tuning of target activity, the coordinated regulation of target batteries, and the reversibility of some aspects of microRNA-mediated repression. Such themes may reflect some of the inherent advantages of exploiting microRNA control in biological circuits, and provide insight into the consequences of microRNA dysfunction in disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Plants / genetics


  • MicroRNAs