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Minute Alteration In microRNA Sequences Hold More Information Than Previously Thought

Update Date: Sep 24, 2014 03:18 PM EDT
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isomiRs have abundances that depend on geographic subpopulation and gender, according to a new study.

The study also showed that the most prevalent variant of a given miRNA may not be the one typically listed in the public database. 

"This study shows that microRNA isoforms are much more common than we had previously assumed. The fact that some isoforms are shared by certain subpopulations or are more prominent in women than in men suggests that their presence likely serves a purpose and this warrants further study." said Isidore Rigoutsos, Director of the Center for Computational Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), in the press release.

MiRNAs are short non-coding RNAs measuring nearly 22 nucleotides in length. They were first discovered over 20 years ago. miRNAs are significant because of their involvement in fundamental processes like development and homeostasis. However, miRNAs and their dysregulation have also been linked to many human conditions, diseases and syndromes. 

Findings of the study suggest that even cell lines from the same tissue could have more differences than they have similarities. 

The study was published in the journal Oncotarget

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