Plant Science Innovation, Center for


Date of this Version



Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 72 (2015), pp 87–99. doi 10.1007/s00018-014-1728-7


© 2014 Springer Basel. Used by permission


microRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression. After excised from primary miRNA transcript by dicer-like1 (DCL1, an RNAse III enzyme), miRNAs bind and guide their effector protein named argonaute 1 (AGO1) to silence the expression of target RNAs containing their complementary sequences in plants. miRNA levels and activities are tightly controlled to ensure their functions in various biological processes such as development, metabolism and responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. Studies have identified many factors that involve in miRNA accumulation and activities. Characterization of these factors in turn greatly improves our understanding of the processes related to miRNAs. Here, we review recent progress of mechanisms underlying miRNA expression and functions in plants.