Eran Hornstein

Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Career Development Chair

Room: 314

Building: Arnold R. Meyer Institute of Biological Sciences

Tel: 972-8-934-6215

Fax: 972-8-934-4108


My Group Web page

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.

miRNAs can potentially repress more then a third of all genes and therefore may be relevant to the vast majority of cellular processes. We focus on their action in development and evolution with the following projects in mind:

Organogenesis and tissue biology:

  • skull bone formation
  • limb development
  • beta-cell biology

Regulation of gene expression:

  • generation of robustness (canalization)
  • posttranscriptional regulation gene expression

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.

Recent References

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

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Department of Molecular Genetics
Weizmann Institute of Science

Tel: 972-8-934-3970
Fax: 972-8-934-4108


Last Updated: 10 August 2008