You'd Prefer An Argonaute

Tasty, delicious microRNAs

Posted in YPAA Journal Club by YPAA on April 10, 2009

Occasionally I enter the search term ‘miRNA’ in PubMed, sort by most recent, and take a gander. This method is becoming an increasingly needle in the haystack-type proposition for finding solid microRNA papers of broad interest, but sometimes I’m looking for just the opposite:

photograph by wYnand! on Flickr

MicroRNA: mechanism of gene regulation and application to livestock

T.G. McDaneld

Journal of Animal Science 87: E21-E28, 2009.

The last two sentences of the abstract set-up the rationale for the review:

“The role of miRNA in developmental decisions that affect animal biology is of significant interest, yet the current literature is limited in livestock models. Therefore, a review of the mechanisms by which miRNA alter gene translation and the current research evaluating miRNA in production livestock is needed.”

What follows is a simple review of microRNA biogenesis and function, and then several paragraphs on the application of this information to production livestock. A couple revelations:

“Evaluation of regulatory factors that affect development and growth of economically important tissues such as skeletal muscle and adipose tissue is of interest, because profit margin is influenced by nutrient partitioning between these tissues.”

“MicroRNA motifs have also been identified near SNP associated with residual feed intake in cattle, suggesting that miRNA have a functional role in regulation of genes that affect feed efficiency (Barendse et al., 2007).”

OK microRNA researchers, the world is hungry, so get to work!


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