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microRNA‐binding proteins: specificity and function

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microRNA (miRNA) and RNA‐binding proteins (RBPs) have been studied widely in post‐transcriptional gene regulation. Previous work has focused on defining how miRNA and RBPs modulate target mRNA decay and translation as well as investigating how they interplay each other. Emerging studies indicate that certain RBPs other than the AGO‐family proteins directly interact with mature miRNAs. These findings implicate competitive binding of RBPs to target miRNAs, sequestration of miRNAs from AGO, promotion of AGO binding to miRNAs, and transfer of miRNAs from RBPs to AGO. Recent work also indicates that AGO‐free cytoplasmic miRNAs establish complexes with novel miRNA‐binding proteins (miRBPs). This review covers the recent discovery of novel miRBPs, offering a new perspective on the miRNA‐mediated gene silencing mechanism. WIREs RNA 2017, 8:e1414. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1414 This article is categorized under: RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Recognition RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Interactions: Functional Implications Regulatory RNAs/RNAi/Riboswitches > Regulatory RNAs
Mechanisms of miRBPs function. (a) miRBP competes with AGO2 for miRNA binding or dissociates miRNA from AGO2. (b) AGO2/miRNA and miRBP/miRNA complexes interact with each other to promote gene silencing events such as target mRNA decay and translation repression. (c) miRNA binds to AGO2 first, dissociates from it, and can then interact with miRBP for its transfer to AGO2 to promote gene silencing. (d) miRNA binds miRBP first, and then can be transferred to AGO2 for gene silencing.
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Regulatory RNAs/RNAi/Riboswitches > Regulatory RNAs
RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Interactions: Functional Implications
RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Recognition

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