Quantifying negative feedback regulation by micro-RNAs.


Journal Article

Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) play a crucial role in post-transcriptional gene regulation by pairing with target mRNAs to repress protein production. It has been shown that over one-third of human genes are targeted by miRNA. Although hundreds of miRNAs have been identified in mammalian genomes, the function of miRNA-based repression in the context of gene regulation networks still remains unclear. In this study, we explore the functional roles of feedback regulation by miRNAs. In a model where repression of translation occurs by sequestration of mRNA by miRNA, we find that miRNA and mRNA levels are anti-correlated, resulting in larger fluctuation in protein levels than theoretically expected assuming no correlation between miRNA and mRNA levels. If miRNA repression is due to a catalytic suppression of translation rates, we analytically show that the protein fluctuations can be strongly repressed with miRNA regulation. We also discuss how either of these modes may be relevant for cell function.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Wang, S; Raghavachari, S

Published Date

  • October 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 055002 -

PubMed ID

  • 21832809

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21832809

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1478-3975

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1478-3967

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1088/1478-3975/8/5/055002


  • eng