Identification of hundreds of conserved and nonconserved human microRNAs

Isaac Bentwich, Amir Avniel, Yael Karov, Ranit Aharonov, Shlomit Gilad, Omer Barad, Adi Barzilai, Paz Einat, Uri Einav, Eti Meiri, Eilon Sharon, Yael Spector, Zvi Bentwich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1513 Scopus citations

Abstract

MicroRNAs are noncoding RNAs of ∼22 nucleotides that suppress translation of target genes by binding to their mRNA and thus have a central role in gene regulation in health and disease. To date, 222 human microRNAs have been identified, 86 by random cloning and sequencing, 43 by computational approaches and the rest as putative microRNAs homologous to microRNAs in other species. To prove our hypothesis that the total number of microRNAs may be much larger and that several have emerged only in primates, we developed an integrative approach combining bioinformatic predictions with microarray analysis and sequence-directed cloning. Here we report the use of this approach to clone and sequence 89 new human microRNAs (nearly doubling the current number of sequenced human microRNAs), 53 of which are not conserved beyond primates. These findings suggest that the total number of human microRNAs is at least 800.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-770
Number of pages5
JournalNature Genetics
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

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