Mechanisms of miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation in animal cells

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2009 Jun;21(3):452-60. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 May 18.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 20-nt-long to 24-nt-long noncoding RNAs acting as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression in animals and plants. In mammals, more than 50% of mRNAs are predicted to be the subject of miRNA-mediated control but mechanistic aspects of the regulation are not fully understood and different studies have produced often-contradictory results. miRNAs can affect both the translation and stability of mRNAs. In this report, we review current progress in understanding how miRNAs execute these effects in animals and we discuss some of the controversies regarding different modes of miRNA function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger