MicroRNAs (miRNA) are tiny bits of genetic material that were unknown nearly 10 years ago but now represent an exciting field of study in biology. Upon their discovery, researchers revealed for the first time a new mechanism by which microRNA can stop the function of messenger RNA (mRNA) by literally cutting it in half, interfering with the normal function of specific messenger RNAs in gene expression. This "expression" of genes that code for essential proteins is essentially what controls whether a cell turns into a liver, lung, or brain cell, for example. Understanding what activates this process – or stops it – is a key to understanding the biological process and builds a foundation for advances in medicine and other fields. This volume in Methods in Enzymology presents valuable methods for studying MicroRNA, with three sections covering identification of MicroRNAs and their targets; MicroRNA expression, maturation and functional analysis; and MicroRNAs and disease.


Biochemists, molecular and cell biologists.

Table of Contents

SECTION I. Identifying Micro RNAs and their targets Chapter 1: Identification of viral miRNAs Chapter 2: Robust machine learning algorithms predict microRNA genes and targets Chapter 3: Idenfication of virally encoded microRNAs Chapter 4: Computational Methods for microRNA Target Prediction SECTION II. Micro RNA expression, maturation and functional analysis Chapter 5: In vitro and in vivo assays for the activity of the Drosha-DGCR8 complex Chapter 6: Microarray analysis of microRNA gene expression. Chapter 7: Cloning and detecting signature microRNAs from mammalian cells Chapter 8: Approaches for studying microRNA and small interfering RNA methylation in vitro and in vivo Chapter 9: Analysis of small RNA profiles during development. Chapter 10: Dissecting MicroRNA-mediated Gene Regulation and Function in T Cell Development SECTION III. MiRNAs and Disease Chapter 11: Investigation of microRNAs alterations in leukemias and lymphomas Chapter 12: Discovery of pathogen-regulated small RNAs in plants Chapter 13: Protocols for expression and functional analysis of viral microRNAs


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© 2007
Academic Press
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About the editor

John Rossi

Affiliations and Expertise

City of Hope's Beckman Research Institute, Duarte, California, U.S.A.