Cooperative and individualistic functions of the microRNAs in the miR-23a~27a~24-2 cluster and its implication in human diseases

Mol Cancer. 2010 Sep 3:9:232. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-232.


The small RNA molecules of about 19-22 nucleotides in length, aptly called microRNAs, perform the task of gene regulation in the cell. Interestingly, till the early nineties very little was known about them but eventually, the microRNAs have become forefront in the area of research. The huge number of microRNAs plus each one of them targeting a vast number of related as well as unrelated genes makes them very interesting molecules to study. To add to the mystery of miRNAs is the fact that the same miRNA can have antagonizing role in two different cell types i.e. in one cell type; the miRNA promotes proliferation whereas in another cell type the same miRNA inhibits proliferation. Another remarkable aspect of the microRNAs is that many of them exist in clusters. In humans alone, out of 721 microRNAs known, 247 of them occur in 64 clusters at an inter-miRNA distance of less than 5000 bp. The reason for this clustering of miRNAs is not fully understood but since the miRNA clusters are evolutionary conserved, their significance cannot be ruled out. The objective of this review is to summarize the recent progress on the functional characterization of miR-23a~27a~24-2 cluster in humans in relation to various health and diseased conditions and to highlight the cooperative effects of the miRNAs of this cluster.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Disease
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*


  • MIRN23a microRNA, human
  • MIRN24 microRNA, human
  • MIRN27 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs