Master regulators of posttranscriptional gene expression are subject to regulation
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs of 17-25 nt in length that control gene expression posttranscriptionally. As master regulators of posttranscriptional gene expression, miRNAs themselves are subject to tight regulation at multiple steps. The most common mechanisms include miRNA transcription, processing, and localization. Additionally, intricate feedback loops between miRNAs and transcription factors result in unidirectional, reciprocal, or self-directed elegant control mechanisms. In this chapter, we focus on the posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms that generate miRNAs whose sequence might be slightly different from the miRNA-coding sequences. Hopefully, this information will be helpful in the discovery of novel miRNAs as well as in the analysis of deep-sequencing data and ab initio prediction of miRNAs. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014.