An Overview of MicroRNA Methods: Expression Profiling and Target Identification.
Methods in molecular biology, October 2011
Sinéad M. Smith, David W. Murray, Smith, Sinéad M., Murray, David W.
Virginia Espina, Lance A. Liotta
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, single-stranded RNA molecules encoded by genes that are transcribed from DNA but not translated into protein (noncoding RNA). The ability of miRNA to regulate the expression of, as yet, an unknown quantity of targets has recently become an area of huge interest to researchers studying many different areas in many species. Identifying miRNA targets provides functional insights and strategies for therapy. Furthermore, the recent advent of high-throughput methods for profiling miRNA expression and for the identification of miRNA targets has ushered in a new era in the research of gene regulation. miRNA profiling further adds a new dimension of information for the molecular profiling of disease. Summarized herein are the methods used to query the expression of miRNAs at both an individual and global level. We have also described modern computational approaches to identifying miRNA target transcripts.
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