RNA (New York, N.Y.)

Microprocessor dynamics shows co- and post-transcriptional processing of pri-miRNAs.

PMID 28250203


miRNAs are small regulatory RNAs involved in the regulation of translation of target transcripts. miRNA biogenesis is a multistep process starting with the cleavage of the primary miRNA transcript in the nucleus by the Microprocessor complex. Endogenous processing of pri-miRNAs is challenging to study and the in vivo kinetics of this process is not known. Here, we present a method for determining the processing kinetics of pri-miRNAs within intact cells over time, using a pulse-chase approach to label transcribed RNA during 15 min, and follow the processing within a 1-hour window after labeling with bromouridine. We show that pri-miRNAs exhibit different processing kinetics ranging from fast over intermediate to slow processing, and we provide evidence that pri-miRNA processing can occur both cotranscriptionally and post-transcriptionally.