MicroRNAs (miRNAs) were originally identified in 1993, when a non-coding small RNA gene, lin-4, has been discovered in a genetic screen utilized to find out genes controlling developmental timing of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans larvae. Findings about lin-4 and other newly discovered small non-coding RNAs having the capacity to alter gene expression post-transcriptionally in a variety of species including mammalians, put forward miRNAs, which, are endogenously synthesized, approximately 22 nucleotide-long, single stranded and non-coding RNAs, as indispensable components of noncoding genome . Since their discovery, hundreds of miRNAs have been shown to play essential roles through modulating expression of their validated targets in several biological events both in physiological and pathological conditions and they are estimated to regulate the expression of at least 60% of human genes.
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Last date updated on July, 2014