Mammalian microRNAs derived from genomic repeats

Neil R. Smalheiser, Vetle I. Torvik

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


In this article, we show that a subset of conventional mammalian microRNAs is derived from LINE-2 transposable elements and other genome repeats. These repeat-derived microRNAs arise from conventional precursor hairpins and are distinct from the rasiRNAs, which appear to be processed from long double-stranded RNA precursors. The insertion of transposable elements into new genomic sites appears to be one of the driving-forces that create new microRNAs during mammalian evolution. Two of the LINE-2-derived microRNAs exhibit perfect complementarity to a large family of mRNA and EST transcripts that contain portions of MIR and other LINE-2 elements in their 3′-untranslated regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-326
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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