Smad-mediated regulation of microRNA biosynthesis

FEBS Lett. 2012 Jul 4;586(14):1906-12. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.01.041. Epub 2012 Jan 28.


microRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs conserved in metazoans. Depletion of miRNAs results in embryonic lethality, suggesting they are essential for embryogenesis. Similarly, pathways induced by growth factors of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily control cell growth, differentiation, and development. Recently Smad proteins, the signal transducers of the TGF-β pathway, were found to regulate miRNA expression, which, in turn, affects expression of numerous proteins. Smads modulate miRNA expression through both transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms illustrating the complexity of gene regulation by TGF-β. In this chapter we summarize the current knowledge of mechanisms underlying Smad-mediated regulation of miRNA biogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Argonaute Proteins / metabolism
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / metabolism
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factors / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Ribonuclease III / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Smad Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • AGO1 protein, human
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factors
  • MicroRNAs
  • Smad Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • DICER1 protein, human
  • DROSHA protein, human
  • Ribonuclease III
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases