Progress in micro RNA focused research in endocrinology

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Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory molecules of increasing biologists’ interest. miRNAs, unlikely mRNA, do not encode proteins. It is a class of small double stranded RNA molecules that via their seed sequence interact with mRNA and inhibit its expression. It has been estimated that 30% of human gene expression is regulated by miRNAs. One miRNA usually targets several mRNAs and one mRNA can be regulated by several miRNAs. miRNA biogenesis is realized by key enzymes, Drosha and Dicer. miRNA/mRNA interaction depends on binding to RNA-induced silencing complex. Today, complete commercially available methodical proposals for miRNA investigation are available. There are techniques allowing the identification of new miRNAs and new miRNA targets, validation of predicted targets, measurement of miRNAs and their precursor levels, and validation of physiological role of miRNAs under in vitro and in vivo conditions. miRNAs have been shown to influence gene expression in several endocrine glands, including pancreas, ovary, testes, hypothalamus, and pituitary.

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