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MicroRNAs take part in the gene silencing by being a component of ithe multi-protein RISC, the RNA-induced silencing complex which silences genes.

Relevant Papers

"Predicting effective microRNA target sites in mammalian mRNAs"

By Agarwal et al eLife 2015 , link here

  • miRNA targets involve pairing the miRNA seed region with complementary site on the mRNA in question.
  • A canonical site on an mRNA is the exact complement of the miRNA seed. Most but not all bindings are canonical.
  • miRNAs often bind to mRNA and degrade it (i.e. represses it) so that it produces less protein.