Biophysical Analysis of miRNA-Dependent Gene Regulation
microRNAs (miRNAs) are short (∼22 nucleotides long) RNAs that are encoded in the genome of species ranging from viruses to man. Together with proteins of the Argonaute family, they form RNA-induced silencing complexes, which bind target mRNAs, reducing their stability and translation rate. A miRNA typically has hundreds of evolutionarily conserved binding sites across the transcriptome, and frequently, a given mRNA carries binding sites for multiple miRNAs. In this chapter we discuss behaviors that miRNA-containing regulatory networks can exhibit, with specific examples from various experimental systems.