Intergenic DNA, often described as “playground of evolution”, harbors a plethora of cis and trans regulatory elements in the form of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). The evolution of the silencing mechanism mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs), an important class of ncRNA, involves the proliferation of miRNA biogenesis and effector proteins, continuing innovation of novel families by the diversification of established families and spawning additional paralogous family members. Such evolving miRNA pathways for spatiotemporal regulation of the transcriptome have shaped the evolution of eukaryotic genomes and contributed to the complexity of multicellular organisms. Here, we focus on the emergence of new target specificity of the miRNAs along with the proliferation of core biogenesis and effector modules and show how this has contributed to generate diverse miRNA regulatory pathways.
Keywords: miRNA evolution, biogenesis, target specificity, seed shifting, arm switching, duplication, noncoding RNA, Intergenic DNA, Dicer and Accessory Proteins, Argonaute Protein Family
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport
Published on: 04 April, 2012
Page: [144 - 152]