Developing microRNA screening as a functional genomics tool for disease research

Front Physiol. 2013 Aug 27;4:223. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2013.00223. eCollection 2013.


Originally discovered as regulators of developmental timing in C. elegans, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as modulators of nearly every cellular process, from normal development to pathogenesis. With the advent of whole genome libraries of miRNA mimics suitable for high throughput screening, it is possible to comprehensively evaluate the function of each member of the miRNAome in cell-based assays. Since the relatively few microRNAs in the genome are thought to directly regulate a large portion of the proteome, miRNAome screening, coupled with the identification of the regulated proteins, might be a powerful new approach to gaining insight into complex biological processes.

Keywords: functional genomics; functional screens; microRNA target; protein-protein interaction; proteomics; systems biology and network biology.