Uridine Addition After MicroRNA-Directed Cleavage

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Science  05 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5698, pp. 997
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103521

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One of the important roles of microRNA (miRNA) is to direct the cleavage of messenger RNA (mRNA). However, the mechanisms of decay of the cleaved mRNA products is not well understood. We show that miRNA-directed cleavage products in organisms as diverse as Arabidopsis, mouse, and Epstein-Barr virus have at their 3' ends a stretch (1 to 24 nucleotides) of oligouridine posttranscriptionally added downstream of the cleavage site. This 3' uridine addition, as shown for Arabidopsis, is correlated with decapping and 5' shortening of the cleaved products, suggesting a mechanistic step in the miRNA-directed mRNA decay mechanism.

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