Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia
versão impressa ISSN 0004-2730
RICARTE FILHO, Júlio C.M. e KIMURA, Edna Teruko. MicroRNAs: novel class of gene regulators involved in endocrine function and cancer. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab [online]. 2006, vol.50, n.6, pp. 1102-1107. ISSN 0004-2730. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-27302006000600018.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a novel class of endogenous ~22-nucleotide RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression by inhibiting translation of target RNAs. Discovered just over a decade ago in Caenorhabditis elegans, miRNAs are now recognized as one of the major regulatory gene families in plants and animals. In the human genome, 462 miRNA genes have been discovered and the estimated number of miRNAs is as high as 1000. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that a unique miRNA acts on several mRNA, influencing multiple signaling pathways concomitantly, thus presenting enormous regulatory potential. Although the biology of miRNAs is not well understood, recent evidences have linked these molecules to diverse biological processes. Moreover, aberrant expression of miRNAs has been associated to human disease, including that related to the endocrine system and cancer.
Palavras-chave : MicroRNAs; Gene regulation; Endocrine biology; Cancer.