MicroRNAs are abundant, 21-25 nucleotide non-coding RNAs that are important endogenous regulators of gene expression. MicroRNAs work by specifically regulating messenger RNAs (mRNAs), and are predicted to regulate hundreds of genes individually and simultaneously, affecting cellular functions such as differentiation, development, proliferation, and apoptosis. The specific regulation at both the transcription and the translation level opens the possibility to use microRNAs as targets for the development of drugs and for the diagnosis of several human diseases. Novus Biologicals now offers a novel a line of DGCR8 knockout mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to study the global role of microRNAs. Embryonic stem cells provide a tool for the study of the molecular mechanisms of early mammalian development. The DGCR8 cells have been genetically altered at the locus of the dgcr8 gene such that no functional DGCR8 protein can be produced, resulting in the global, but specific, loss of micro RNAs. The DGCR8 knockout mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells are unique because they allow for the specific study of the global role of microRNAs. Unlike the Dicer cell line, the only other comparable line for studying microRNAs, the DGCR8 cell line appears to be specific for microRNAs, whereas Dicer also affects other classes of small RNAs. Mouse Dicer1 knockout ES cells have been useful for inferring the role for small RNAs in ES cell differentiation. Dicer is required for the maturation of at least two classes of small RNAs: microRNAs and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Thus, in studies using Dicer1 knockout ES cells it can be difficult to isolate whether the lack microRNAs alone are the cause of the observed phenotype.DGCR8 is part of the microprocessor complex, which is composed of the proteins DGCR8 and Drosha. The microprocessor complex handles microRNA processing; unlike Dicer, this complex seems to be specific to microRNAs. Of the two components of the microprocessor complex, Drosha has been reported to have a role in ribosomal RNA processing, possibly in a distinct protein complex, while DGCR8 does not. Therefore, DGCR8 may be the only member of the processing pathway that is specific to microRNAs. These cells are useful for the specific study of microRNA function in both embryonic stem cells as well as derivatives of embryonic stem cells (e.g. differentiated cells from embryonic stem cells).
|Product By Gene ID
- microprocessor complex subunit DGCR8
- DGCRK6chromosome 22 open reading frame 12
- DiGeorge syndrome critical region 8
- DiGeorge syndrome critical region gene 8
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