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