Role of MicroRNA in the Regulation of Apoptosis.

Daisy R Roy, Sathees BC Chandra


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNA molecules that suppress gene
expression by selectively base-pairing to the complementary messenger RNA (mRNA). Post-transcriptional silencing of target genes by miRNA occurs either by targeting specific cleavage of homologous mRNAs or by targeting specific inhibition of protein synthesis. A number of studies with anti-sense miRNA have helped us in better understanding of miRNAs role in cellular pathways. Multi subunit protein complex containing DROSHA, an RNASE type III endonuclease, is one of the two main enzymes necessary for processing unprocessed miRNA. The influences of miRNA on plethora of biological processes like cell renewal and differentiation make miRNA quintessential in elucidating number of genetic processes. miRNA can be mediators and future targets for therapeutics in regulating cell growth and apoptotic pathways. The
findings that miRNA down regulates BCL2 expressions in leukemia cell lines have reinforced the idea that their regulatory roles in apoptosis are very important. E2F1 of E2F family of transcription factors regulates apoptosis, an evolutionarily conserved programmed cell death. miRNA molecules modulate the translation of E2F1 mRNAs by binding to the sites in their 3'-untranslated region. Recent advances in miRNA are reviewed and the role of miRNA and its function in regulating apoptosis is discussed in this paper.


miRNA; apoptosis; DROSHA; DICER

Full Text: