[BioC] microRNA: which genes code for a specific mirna?

Cei Abreu-Goodger cei at ebi.ac.uk
Thu Mar 18 21:56:25 CET 2010

> The genename for this miRNA is simply MIR21, see http://www.genenames.org/data/hgnc_data.php?hgnc_id=HGNC:31586.
> But in the literature generally the same name (e.g., miR-21) seems to be used for the gene, the precursor, the primary, and the mature microRNA. It might be useful to read this article for some background on microRNA metabolism if you havent done so already:

Some things to point out:

miRBase provides a standard nomenclature for miRNAs. Most of the 
microarray platforms will use miRBase identifiers for their reporters 
(but be sure to check the version of miRBase on which they're based).

hsa-mir-21 (lowercase "r") refers to a miRNA hairpin, also called the 
pre-miRNA. pre-miRNAs can give rise to one or two mature products (from 
either arm of the hairpin).

hsa-miR-21 (uppercase "R") refers to the mature microRNA, or simply 
miRNA, produced from one arm of the mir-21 hairpin. In this case, the 
non-functional product is called miR-21* (when both arms give rise to 
detectable miRNAs, they will usually be called -5p and -3p referring to 
the 5' and 3' side of the hairpin).

The primary transcript, which can encode multiple microRNA hairpins, as 
well as a protein, is referred to as the pri-miRNA.



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