mirna goes nuclear

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs), defined as 21-24 nucleotide non-coding RNAs, are important regulators of gene expression. Initially, the functions of miRNAs were recognized as posttranscriptional regulators on mRNAs that result in mRNA degradation and/or translational repression. It is becoming evident that miRNAs are not only restricted to function in the cytoplasm, they can also regulate gene expression in other cellular compartments by a spectrum of targeting mechanisms via coding regions, 5’ and 3'untransalated regions (UTRs), promoters and gene termini. In this point-of-view, we will specifically focus on the nuclear functions of miRNAs and discuss examples of miRNA-directed transcriptional gene regulation identified in recent years.

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