Semin Liver Dis 2015; 35(01): 003-011
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1397344
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Overview of MicroRNA Biology

Ashley M. Mohr
1   Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
,
Justin L. Mott
1   Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
29 January 2015 (online)

Abstract

In considering an overview of microRNA biology, it is useful to consider microRNAs as a part of cellular communication. At the simplest level, microRNAs act to decrease the expression of messenger RNAs that contain stretches of sequence complementary to the microRNA. This function can be likened to the function of endogenous or synthetic short interfering RNA. However, microRNA function is more complicated and nuanced than this “on–off” model would suggest. Further, many microRNA targets are themselves noncoding RNAs. In this review, the authors discuss the role of microRNAs in shaping the proteome of the cell in a way that is consistent with microRNA involvement in a highly regulated conversation, sensitive to outside influence and internal feedback.