Researchers at Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University have found that a recently described class of molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in regulating oogenesis, the process by which females make eggs. MiRNAs silence genes by binding to genetic elements called messenger RNA and preventing them from making new proteins -- the molecules primarily responsible for cell activities.
While previous research has identified some miRNA targets, investigators havent yet seen how they impact developmental processes.
"We found the first evidence that miRNAs are involved in oogenesis, and this adds an extra layer of complexity that needs to be explored if we are to understand how development is regulated," said Jonathan Minden, associate professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon and one of the papers authors.
Megan Fellman | EurekAlert!
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