MICRORNA FUNCTION AND EVOLUTION
microRNA validation, target prediction and evolution
microRNAs are a family of small non-coding regulatory RNAs that regulate gene expression via translation inhibition target mRNA degradation. microRNAs are processed by sequential cleavage of a primary RNA by two RNAse III enzymes, Drosha and Dicer. The mature microRNA is then loaded into the effector protein Argonatute to seek and inhbit targets via recognition of a seed sequence of 6-8 nucleotides in the 3'UTR of its target mRNA. In the Cifuentes lab, we use rigorous experimental validation in high-throughput to uncover novel microRNA and analyze their biogenesis and function throughout evolution.