Subcellular Heterogeneity of the microRNA Machinery

Trabucchi M

Trends Genet. 2019 Jan;35(1):15-28

Abstract

PMID: 30503571

Different methods have recently been developed to understand the subcellular localization and role of microRNAs (miRNAs) as well as small RNAs associated with Argonaute (AGO) proteins. The heterogeneity of the protein complexes associated with miRNAs, along with their subcellular localization, provides clues into their biochemical mechanism of function. Subcellular diversity indicates that miRNAs localized to different cellular regions could have different functions, including transcriptional regulation on chromatin or post-transcriptional control, providing global regulation of gene expression by miRNAs. Herein, I review the current knowledge and most recent discoveries relating to the subcellular function of miRNAs and other AGO-associated small RNAs, revealing the emergence of a multitude of functions of the miRNA pathway to control different steps of the gene expression program(s).