We study the roles of microRNAs (miRNA) in development, focusing on miRNA function in vertebrate organogenesis.
The genomes of animals contain hundreds of miRNA genes, which encode for short regulatory RNA molecules. miRNAs repress the expression of protein-coding mRNAs (targets), providing a previously unappreciated regulatory mechanism for gene expression. Upon binding of an individual miRNA, or a combination of several miRNAs to the 3' un-translated region of a target
mRNA, either translation repression or mRNA cleavage is induced.
Methodologically, we obtain a diverse set of tools including mouse genetics, chick embryology, and bioinformatics.
Our studies will reveal facets of miRNA biology and roles played by non coding RNAs in developmental biology and in evolution.
Hornstein E, Shomron S Canalization of Development by miRNAs
Nature Genetics. 2006 May 30;38:Suppl 1:S20-S24. PDF version
Life Sciences Open day 2006 - miRNA role in development PDF version
Hornstein E, Mansfield JH, Yekta S, Hu JK, Harfe BD, McManus MT, Baskerville S, Bartel DP, Tabin CJ The microRNA miR-196 acts upstream of Hoxb8 and Shh in limb development.
Nature. 2005 Dec 1;438(7068):671-4. PDF version
Harfe BD, McManus MT, Mansfield JH, Hornstein E, Tabin CJ.
The RNaseIII enzyme Dicer is required for morphogenesis but not patterning of the vertebrate limb
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Aug 2;102(31):10898-903. PDF version
Hornstein E, Tabin CJ.
Developmental biology: asymmetrical threat averted.
Nature. 2005 May 12;435(7039):155-6 PDF version