Genome-wide analysis of human microRNA stability

Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:368975. doi: 10.1155/2013/368975. Epub 2013 Sep 28.


Increasing studies have shown that microRNA (miRNA) stability plays important roles in physiology. However, the global picture of miRNA stability remains largely unknown. Here, we had analyzed genome-wide miRNA stability across 10 diverse cell types using miRNA arrays. We found that miRNA stability shows high dynamics and diversity both within individual cells and across cell types. Strikingly, we observed a negative correlation between miRNA stability and miRNA expression level, which is different from current findings on other biological molecules such as proteins and mRNAs that show positive and not negative correlations between stability and expression level. This finding indicates that miRNA has a distinct action mode, which we called "rapid production, rapid turnover; slow production, slow turnover." This mode further suggests that high expression miRNAs normally degrade fast and may endow the cell with special properties that facilitate cellular status-transition. Moreover, we revealed that the stability of miRNAs is affected by cohorts of factors that include miRNA targets, transcription factors, nucleotide content, evolution, associated disease, and environmental factors. Together, our results provided an extensive description of the global landscape, dynamics, and distinct mode of human miRNA stability, which provide help in investigating their functions in physiology and pathophysiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA Stability / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • Transcription Factors