Processing of intronic microRNAs

Processing of intronic microRNAs The majority of human microRNA (miRNA) loci are located within intronic regions and are transcribed by RNA polymerase II as part of their hosting transcription units. The primary transcripts are cleaved by Drosha to release ∼70 nt pre‐miRNAs that are subsequently processed by Dicer to generate mature ∼22 nt miRNAs. It is generally believed that intronic miRNAs are released by Drosha from excised introns after the splicing reaction has occurred. However, our database searches and experiments indicate that intronic miRNAs can be processed from unspliced intronic regions before splicing catalysis. Intriguingly, cleavage of an intron by Drosha does not significantly affect the production of mature mRNA, suggesting that a continuous intron may not be required for splicing and that the exons may be tethered to each other. Hence, Drosha may cleave intronic miRNAs between the splicing commitment step and the excision step, thereby ensuring both miRNA biogenesis and protein synthesis from a single primary transcript. Our study provides a novel example of eukaryotic gene organization and RNA‐processing control. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The EMBO Journal Wiley

Processing of intronic microRNAs

The EMBO Journal, Volume 26 (3) – Jul 7, 2007

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc
ISSN
0261-4189
eISSN
1460-2075
D.O.I.
10.1038/sj.emboj.7601512
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The majority of human microRNA (miRNA) loci are located within intronic regions and are transcribed by RNA polymerase II as part of their hosting transcription units. The primary transcripts are cleaved by Drosha to release ∼70 nt pre‐miRNAs that are subsequently processed by Dicer to generate mature ∼22 nt miRNAs. It is generally believed that intronic miRNAs are released by Drosha from excised introns after the splicing reaction has occurred. However, our database searches and experiments indicate that intronic miRNAs can be processed from unspliced intronic regions before splicing catalysis. Intriguingly, cleavage of an intron by Drosha does not significantly affect the production of mature mRNA, suggesting that a continuous intron may not be required for splicing and that the exons may be tethered to each other. Hence, Drosha may cleave intronic miRNAs between the splicing commitment step and the excision step, thereby ensuring both miRNA biogenesis and protein synthesis from a single primary transcript. Our study provides a novel example of eukaryotic gene organization and RNA‐processing control.

Journal

The EMBO JournalWiley

Published: Jul 7, 2007

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

References

  • Biogenesis of small nucleolar ribonucleoproteins
    Filipowicz, W; Pogacic, V
  • The human DiGeorge syndrome critical region gene 8 and its D. melanogaster homolog are required for miRNA biogenesis
    Landthaler, M; Yalcin, A; Tuschl, T
  • MicroRNA genes are transcribed by RNA polymerase II
    Lee, Y; Kim, M; Han, J; Yeom, KH; Lee, S; Baek, SH; Kim, VN

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