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Pure Appl. Chem., 2005, Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 313-318

Identification of target genes of microRNAs in retinoic acid-induced neuronal differentiation

Hiroaki Kawasaki1,2 and Kazunari Taira1,2

1 Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
2 Gene Function Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Central 4, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba Science City 305-8562, Japan

Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are phylogenetically widespread, small noncoding RNAs of 18–25 nucleotides in length, and are expressed in animals and plants. These small RNAs can regulate gene expression at the translational level through interactions with their target messenger RNAs, and have a role in the development of Caenorhabditis elegans, plants, and mammals. Although more than 200 miRNAs have been found in mammals, it is not easy to identify their targets. We investigated the target genes of miRNAs and analyzed the function of these miRNAs during retinoic acid (RA)-induced neuronal differentiation.