A Structural View of miRNA Biogenesis and Function

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Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that act as posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. Since their discovery in 1993, they have been the subject of deep study due to their involvement in many important biological processes. Compared with other ncRNAs, miRNAs are generated from devoted transcriptional units which are processed by a specific set of endonucleases. The contribution of structural biology methods for understanding miRNA biogenesis and function has been essential for the dissection of their roles in cell biology and human disease. In this review, we summarize the application of structural biology for the characterization of the molecular players involved in miRNA biogenesis (processors and effectors), starting from the X-ray crystallography methods to the more recent cryo-electron microscopy protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages18
JournalNon-coding RNA
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2022


  • Argonaute
  • Biogenesis
  • Cryo-electron microscopy
  • DGCR8
  • Dicer
  • Drosha
  • Exportin-5
  • MicroRNA
  • Nuclease
  • RISC
  • Structural biology
  • X-ray crystallography


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