Multidirectional interplay between nuclear receptors and microRNAs

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2010 Dec;10(6):637-42. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2010.08.009. Epub 2010 Sep 7.


Nuclear receptors (NRs) form one of the largest superfamilies of transcription factors in metazoans. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that bind the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of target mRNAs to reduce their stability and/or translation. miRNAs can directly regulate the protein output of target NR mRNAs, and, conversely, the expression of miRNAs can be modulated by NRs at the transcriptional level. At least one NR also regulates the posttranscriptional maturation of miRNAs by interacting with miRNA processing factors via NR co-regulators. Moreover, miRNAs regulate NR signaling by targeting the mRNAs of NR co-regulators and target genes. This complex set of interactions also leads to an extensive network of feedback and feedforward regulatory loops.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Co-Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / metabolism
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / metabolism
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivators / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Steroid / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Co-Repressor Proteins
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • MicroRNAs
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivators
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Transcription Factors