MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non–coding RNAs found in plants and animals. They regulate gene expression by binding to complementary sequences within target mRNAs. The mammalian genome encodes hundreds of miRNAs that collectively affect the expression of about one–third of all genes. This collection showcases the latest papers from Nature that explore the biogenesis, biological effects in both normal and diseased cells, and therapeutic potential of miRNAs. Read the collection free online for 3 months after the publication date, and request a sample copy at the Nature website.
Senior Nature editor Angela Eggleston writes in the collection’s Editorial: "The ability of miRNAs to modulate gene expression makes them an attractive target for therapeutic development. Proof-of-concept studies in non-human primates, using ever-improved delivery vehicles, have paved the way for the first human trials involving miRNA drugs. With the ubiquitous impact of miRNAs on cell proliferation and development, these collected articles can provide only the merest hint of the miRNA landscape. As geneticists used to proclaim “the awesome power of yeast genetics”, I think many would acknowledge that we are approaching an era dominated by “the awesome power of miRNAs”. "