The upregulation of a specific microRNA (miRNA) implicated in cancer development by a general RNA processing factor is examined online in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
miRNAs are small RNAs involved in down-regulating gene expression and have been implicated in a number of biological processes. Multiple miRNAs are often produced as a single cluster, which is then cut up to generate individual precursor fragments.
Sonia Guil and Javier Cáceres examine production of a specific miRNA called miR-18a. miR-18a is processed out of a cluster of six miRNAs suggested to be involved in oncogenesis. They find that hnRNPA1, a factor that has been implicated in RNA processing, specifically binds to the cluster containing miR-18a, and promotes production of miR-18a above other members of the cluster. This suggests a role for general processing factors as auxiliary factors that facilitate production of specific microRNAs.
Javier Cáceres (MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh, UK)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Structural & Molecular Biology press release.
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