UC San DiegoMicroRNAs are said to be non-coding RNAs that seem to affect nearly each feature of biology. Lately, they appear to have been powerfully caught up in stem cell biology, tissue and organism development, in addition to human conditions varying from mental disorders to cancer.

Now, scientists from the University of California, San Diego have supposedly recognized the strapping sites of these miRNAs in one of the leading model organisms, C. elegans. They have discovered this via biochemical means to arrest besieged mRNA sequences in vivo.

For majority of the part, miRNAs apparently manage gene expression of messenger RNA (mRNA) targets. Unlike mRNAs, which are converted into proteins, miRNAs supposedly work as petite, untranslated molecules that seem to manage particular mRNAs by means of base-pairing interactions. As miRNAs attach restricted stretches of successive bases in mRNAs, recognizing which mRNAs are objectives of individual miRNAs has supposedly been a blockage of biomedical research. This is owing to the fact that researchers had to depend mostly on computational predictions.

Argonaute proteins are claimed to be chief players in gene-silencing pathways. miRNAs are thought to be fastened into particular binding sites to steer Argonaute proteins to aim mRNA molecules for silencing or annihilation.

By cross-linking communications between the Argonaute protein bound to miRNA and mRNA duplexes, lead researchers Gene Yeo, PhD, assistant professor in UCSD’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Amy Pasquinelli, PhD, associate professor in UCSD’s Division of Biological Sciences, could internationally discover their definite binding spots in the nematode.

Yeo commented, “Our results were very surprising in that we discovered that individual miRNAs can interact with their targets very differently, and differently than we had expected. This approach, and the computational analyses that were develop, open up new ways to identify individual miRNA targets in any tissue and cell type in almost any organism.”

Pasquinelli added that the revelation of thousands of endogenous miRNA target sites provides an unprecedented wealth of data for understanding how miRNAs regulate specific targets in a developing animal.

The research was published in the Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.