Comprehensive Identification of miRNA Target Sites in Live Animals
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that posttranscriptionally regulate the expression of protein-coding genes. The mature miRNAs are loaded into Argonaute-containing protein complexes (miRISC, miRNA Induced S ilencing Complex), and guide these complexes to the 3′ UTR of targeted mRNA transcripts via base-pairing interactions. However, the imperfect complementarity that characterizes the interactions between animal miRNAs and target sites complicates the identification of direct target genes. We developed a biochemical method to identify on a large scale the target sequences recognized by miRISC in vivo. The mRNA sites bound by miRISC are stabilized by cross-linking and isolated by immunoprecipitation of Argonaute-containing complexes. The bound RNA molecules are trimmed to the regions protected by Argonaute, subjected to a series of isolation and linker ligation steps and identified by high-throughput sequencing methods.
Key wordsMicroRNAs Argonaute Protein CLIP-seq Parallel sequencing miRNA target sequences Posttranscriptional gene regulation
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