Lege Artis Medicinae

[NON-CODING GENOME AND MICRO-RNAS: A NEW CHAPTER IN THE HISTORY OF GENETICS]

MOLNÁR Viktor1, BAKOS Beáta1, HEGYESI Hargita1, FALUS ANDRÁS1

SEPTEMBER 19, 2008

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2008;18(08-09)

[Since the discovery of the function of the deoxyribonucleic acid, research for decades focused on studying the protein coding regions in ever increasing details. At the same time, non-coding DNA sequences, which represent 98% of the genome, were considered an evolutionary byproduct, or junk DNA. Today, however, the large families of short, untranslated ribonucleic acid sequences, such as short interfering RNA (siRNA), microRNA, rasiRNA or piRNA, revolutionize our knowledge on gene regulation. The review presents these short RNA molecules, and describes their formation and functions. The authors place special focus on the recently discovered microRNAs, a class of 21-24 nucleotides long RNA molecules that are involved in the regulation of their target’s amount by annealing to the corresponding messenger RNA. The genes of microRNAs are often localized to certain fragile sites of the genome that have been described to be involved in a number of tumours. Thus, it is not surprising that after the discovery of microRNAs the relationship of altered microRNA pattern and cancer has soon become the focus of research.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Semmelweis Egyetem, Genetikai Sejt- és Immunbiológiai Intézet

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