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Target mimicry provides a new mechanism for regulation of microRNA activity

Target mimicry provides a new mechanism for regulation of microRNA activity MicroRNAs (miRNA) regulate key aspects of development and physiology in animals and plants. These regulatory RNAs act as guides of effector complexes to recognize specific mRNA sequences based on sequence complementarity, resulting in translational repression or site-specific cleavage 1,2 . In plants, most miRNA targets are cleaved and show almost perfect complementarity with the miRNAs around the cleavage site 3,4,5,6,7,8 . Here, we examined the non–protein coding gene IPS1 (INDUCED BY PHOSPHATE STARVATION1) from Arabidopsis thaliana. IPS1 contains a motif with sequence complementarity to the phosphate (Pi) starvation–induced miRNA miR-399, but the pairing is interrupted by a mismatched loop at the expected miRNA cleavage site. We show that IPS1 RNA is not cleaved but instead sequesters miR-399. Thus, IPS1 overexpression results in increased accumulation of the miR-399 target PHO2 mRNA and, concomitantly, in reduced shoot Pi content 5,6,7,8 . Engineering of IPS1 to be cleavable abolishes its inhibitory activity on miR-399. We coin the term 'target mimicry' to define this mechanism of inhibition of miRNA activity. Target mimicry can be generalized beyond the control of Pi homeostasis, as demonstrated using artificial target mimics. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Genetics Springer Journals

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References (35)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Nature Publishing Group
Subject
Biomedicine; Biomedicine, general; Human Genetics; Cancer Research; Agriculture; Gene Function; Animal Genetics and Genomics
ISSN
1061-4036
eISSN
1546-1718
DOI
10.1038/ng2079
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNA) regulate key aspects of development and physiology in animals and plants. These regulatory RNAs act as guides of effector complexes to recognize specific mRNA sequences based on sequence complementarity, resulting in translational repression or site-specific cleavage 1,2 . In plants, most miRNA targets are cleaved and show almost perfect complementarity with the miRNAs around the cleavage site 3,4,5,6,7,8 . Here, we examined the non–protein coding gene IPS1 (INDUCED BY PHOSPHATE STARVATION1) from Arabidopsis thaliana. IPS1 contains a motif with sequence complementarity to the phosphate (Pi) starvation–induced miRNA miR-399, but the pairing is interrupted by a mismatched loop at the expected miRNA cleavage site. We show that IPS1 RNA is not cleaved but instead sequesters miR-399. Thus, IPS1 overexpression results in increased accumulation of the miR-399 target PHO2 mRNA and, concomitantly, in reduced shoot Pi content 5,6,7,8 . Engineering of IPS1 to be cleavable abolishes its inhibitory activity on miR-399. We coin the term 'target mimicry' to define this mechanism of inhibition of miRNA activity. Target mimicry can be generalized beyond the control of Pi homeostasis, as demonstrated using artificial target mimics.

Journal

Nature GeneticsSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 22, 2007

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