The Guideline of the Design and Validation of MiRNA Mimics
The miRNA mimic technology (miR-Mimic) is an innovative approach for gene silencing. This approach is to generate nonnatural double-stranded miRNA-like RNA fragments. Such an RNA fragment is designed to have its 5′-end bearing a partially complementary motif to the selected sequence in the 3′UTR unique to the target gene. Once introduced into cells, this RNA fragment, mimicking an endogenous miRNA, can bind specifically to its target gene and produce posttranscriptional repression, more specifically translational inhibition, of the gene. Unlike endogenous miRNAs, miR-Mimics act in a gene-specific fashion. The miR-Mimic approach belongs to the “miRNA-targeting” and “miRNA-gain-of-function” strategy and is primarily used as an exogenous tool to study gene function by targeting mRNA through miRNA-like actions in mammalian cells. The technology was developed by my research group (Department of Medicine, Montreal Heart Institute, University of Montreal) in 2007 (Xiao, et al. J Cell Physiol 212:285–292, 2007; Xiao et al. Nat Cell Biol, in review).
Key wordsmiRNAs Gene expression miR-Mimic miRNA interference (miRNAi) RNA interference (RNAi)
This work was supported in part by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Quebec, and Fonds de la Recherche de l’Institut de Cardiologie de Montreal. Dr. Z. Wang is a Changjiang Scholar Professor of the Ministry of Education of China and a Longjiang Scholar Professor of Heilongjiang, China. The authors thank XiaoFan Yang for her excellent technical supports.
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