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Small molecule inhibitors of microRNA processing

An in vitro screening system could be used to identify small molecule inhibitors of miRNAs. Structural calculations of human miRNA hairpin precursors were analyzed in conjunction with a database of predicted interactions between small molecules and RNA motifs to identify small molecules that could bind to processing sites required for miRNA maturation. In a human cell line, one computationally identified compound inhibited the production of miRNA-96 (miR-96) and stimulated apoptosis. Next steps could include using the method to identify small molecules to inhibit miRNAs or other RNAs of therapeutic interest.

SciBX 7(14); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.417
Published online April 10, 2014

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Velagapudi, S.P. et al. Nat. Chem. Biol.; published online Feb. 9, 2014;
Contact: Matthew D. Disney, Scripps Florida, Jupiter, Fla.