Genomic analysis of human microRNA transcripts

Harpreet Kaur Saini, Sam Griffiths-Jones, Anton James Enright

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important genetic regulators of development, differentiation, growth, and metabolism. The mammalian genome encodes ≈500 known miRNA genes. Approximately 50% are expressed from non-protein-coding transcripts, whereas the rest are located mostly in the introns of coding genes. Intronic miRNAs are generally transcribed coincidentally with their host genes. However, the nature of the primary transcript of intergenic miRNAs is largely unknown. We have performed a large-scale analysis of transcription start sites, polyadenylation signals, CpG islands, EST data, transcription factor-binding sites, and expression ditag data surrounding intergenic miRNAs in the human genome to improve our understanding of the structure of their primary transcripts. We show that a significant fraction of primary transcripts of intergenic miRNAs are 3-4 kb in lengtth, with clearly defined 5′ and 3′ boundaries. We provide strong evidence for the complete transcript structure of a small number of human miRNAs. © 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17719-17724
    Number of pages5
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Issue number45
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2007


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