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MicroRNA Expression in Zebrafish Embryonic Development

Science  08 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5732, pp. 310-311
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114519

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Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs, about 21 nucleotides in length, that can regulate gene expression by base-pairing to partially complementary mRNAs. Regulation by miRNAs can play essential roles in embryonic development. We determined the temporal and spatial expression patterns of 115 conserved vertebrate miRNAs in zebrafish embryos by microarrays and by in situ hybridizations, using locked-nucleic acid–modified oligonucleotide probes. Most miRNAs were expressed in a highly tissue-specific manner during segmentation and later stages, but not early in development, which suggests that their role is not in tissue fate establishment but in differentiation or maintenance of tissue identity.

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