ABSTRACT: microRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs with fundamental roles in the regulation of gene expression. miRNAs assemble with Argonaute (Ago) proteins to miRNA-protein complexes (miRNPs), which interact with distinct binding sites on mRNAs and regulate gene expression. Specific miRNAs are key regulators of tissue and organ development and it has been shown in mammals that miRNAs are also involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases including cancer. Here, we have characterized the miRNA expression profile of the developing murine genitourinary system. Using a computational approach, we have identified several miRNAs that are specific for the analyzed tissues or the developmental stage. Our comprehensive miRNA expression atlas of the developing genitourinary system forms an invaluable basis for further functional in vivo studies.
FEBS letters 10/2010; 584(21):4426-34. · 3.54 Impact Factor