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      Real-time quantification of microRNAs by stem–loop RT–PCR

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          Abstract

          A novel microRNA (miRNA) quantification method has been developed using stem–loop RT followed by TaqMan PCR analysis. Stem–loop RT primers are better than conventional ones in terms of RT efficiency and specificity. TaqMan miRNA assays are specific for mature miRNAs and discriminate among related miRNAs that differ by as little as one nucleotide. Furthermore, they are not affected by genomic DNA contamination. Precise quantification is achieved routinely with as little as 25 pg of total RNA for most miRNAs. In fact, the high sensitivity, specificity and precision of this method allows for direct analysis of a single cell without nucleic acid purification. Like standard TaqMan gene expression assays, TaqMan miRNA assays exhibit a dynamic range of seven orders of magnitude. Quantification of five miRNAs in seven mouse tissues showed variation from less than 10 to more than 30 000 copies per cell. This method enables fast, accurate and sensitive miRNA expression profiling and can identify and monitor potential biomarkers specific to tissues or diseases. Stem–loop RT–PCR can be used for the quantification of other small RNA molecules such as short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Furthermore, the concept of stem–loop RT primer design could be applied in small RNA cloning and multiplex assays for better specificity and efficiency.

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          Most cited references21

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          Posttranscriptional regulation of the heterochronic gene lin-14 by lin-4 mediates temporal pattern formation in C. elegans.

          During C. elegans development, the temporal pattern of many cell lineages is specified by graded activity of the heterochronic gene Lin-14. Here we demonstrate that a temporal gradient in Lin-14 protein is generated posttranscriptionally by multiple elements in the lin-14 3'UTR that are regulated by the heterochronic gene Lin-4. The lin-14 3'UTR is both necessary and sufficient to confer lin-4-mediated posttranscriptional temporal regulation. The function of the lin-14 3'UTR is conserved between C. elegans and C. briggsae. Among the conserved sequences are seven elements that are each complementary to the lin-4 RNAs. A reporter gene bearing three of these elements shows partial temporal gradient activity. These data suggest a molecular mechanism for Lin-14p temporal gradient formation: the lin-4 RNAs base pair to sites in the lin-14 3'UTR to form multiple RNA duplexes that down-regulate lin-14 translation.
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            An abundant class of tiny RNAs with probable regulatory roles in Caenorhabditis elegans.

            Two small temporal RNAs (stRNAs), lin-4 and let-7, control developmental timing in Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that these two regulatory RNAs are members of a large class of 21- to 24-nucleotide noncoding RNAs, called microRNAs (miRNAs). We report on 55 previously unknown miRNAs in C. elegans. The miRNAs have diverse expression patterns during development: a let-7 paralog is temporally coexpressed with let-7; miRNAs encoded in a single genomic cluster are coexpressed during embryogenesis; and still other miRNAs are expressed constitutively throughout development. Potential orthologs of several of these miRNA genes were identified in Drosophila and human genomes. The abundance of these tiny RNAs, their expression patterns, and their evolutionary conservation imply that, as a class, miRNAs have broad regulatory functions in animals.
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              Specificity of microRNA target selection in translational repression.

              MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of noncoding RNAs found in organisms as evolutionarily distant as plants and mammals, yet most of the mRNAs they regulate are unknown. Here we show that the ability of an miRNA to translationally repress a target mRNA is largely dictated by the free energy of binding of the first eight nucleotides in the 5' region of the miRNA. However, G:U wobble base-pairing in this region interferes with activity beyond that predicted on the basis of thermodynamic stability. Furthermore, an mRNA can be simultaneously repressed by more than one miRNA species. The level of repression achieved is dependent on both the amount of mRNA and the amount of available miRNA complexes. Thus, predicted miRNA:mRNA interactions must be viewed in the context of other potential interactions and cellular conditions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nucleic Acids Res
                Nucleic Acids Research
                Nucleic Acids Research
                Oxford University Press
                0305-1048
                1362-4962
                2005
                2005
                27 November 2005
                : 33
                : 20
                : e179
                Affiliations
                Applied Biosystems 850 Lincoln Centre Drive, Foster City, CA 94404, USA
                Author notes
                *To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel: +1 650 638 5245; Fax: +1 650 638 6343; Email: chencx@ 123456appliedbiosystems.com
                Article
                10.1093/nar/gni178
                1292995
                16314309
                94727f59-7fd0-4132-8bd5-e73dfd01d4e3
                © The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved

                The online version of this article has been published under an open access model. Users are entitled to use, reproduce, disseminate, or display the open access version of this article for non-commercial purposes provided that: the original authorship is properly and fully attributed; the Journal and Oxford University Press are attributed as the original place of publication with the correct citation details given; if an article is subsequently reproduced or disseminated not in its entirety but only in part or as a derivative work this must be clearly indicated. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@ 123456oxfordjournals.org

                History
                : 24 May 2005
                : 08 July 2005
                : 25 October 2005
                Categories
                Methods Online

                Genetics
                Genetics

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