Lagos-Quintana, M., Rauhut, R., Yalcin, A., Meyer, J., Lendeckel, W., Tuschl, T. (2002) Identification of tissue-specific microRNAs from mouse. Current biology : CB. 12(9):735-9.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a new class of noncoding RNAs, which are encoded as short inverted repeats in the genomes of invertebrates and vertebrates. It is believed that miRNAs are modulators of target mRNA translation and stability, although most target mRNAs remain to be identified. Here we describe the identification of 34 novel miRNAs by tissue-specific cloning of approximately 21-nucleotide RNAs from mouse. Almost all identified miRNAs are conserved in the human genome and are also frequently found in nonmammalian vertebrate genomes, such as pufferfish. In heart, liver, or brain, it is found that a single, tissue-specifically expressed miRNA dominates the population of expressed miRNAs and suggests a role for these miRNAs in tissue specification or cell lineage decisions. Finally, a miRNA was identified that appears to be the fruitfly and mammalian ortholog of C. elegans lin-4 stRNA.