MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous RNAs of approximately 23 nucleotides that regulate the cellular transcriptome by binding to target mRNAs in a sequence-restricted manner, thereby modulating target transcript translation and turnover. Although the direct repressive trans-acting action of miRNAs is to cause a net reduction in the total amount of protein generated from their target mRNAs, developmental and physiological processes have combined this with the flexibility of spatial and temporal regulation of both the miRNAs and their targets to employ miRNAs in a range of regulatory roles. These different roles achieve diverse regulatory outcomes. Five common in vivo regulatory roles of miRNAs are summarized, along with their key defining attributes that could be experimentally addressed to distinguish between them. Methods utilizing zebrafish that are suitable for determining the functional role of a particular miRNA of interest are outlined.
|Title of host publication||Methods in Cell Biology - The Zebrafish: Genetics, Genomics and Informatics|
|Editors||H Detrich III, M Westerfield, L Zon|
|Place of Publication||USA|
|Pages||353 - 378|
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|