Caenorhabditis elegans let-7, a founding member of the microRNA family, is predicted to bind to six sites in the 3′UTR of the mRNA of its target gene, lin-41, to down-regulate LIN-41. Here, we demonstrate that wild-type let-7 microRNA binds in vitro to RNA from the lin-41 3′UTR. This interaction is dependent on two conserved let-7 complementary sites (LCSs). A 27-nucleotide sequence between the LCSs is also necessary for down-regulation in vivo. LCS mutations compensatory to the lesion in let-7(n2853) can partially restore lin-41 3′UTR function in a let-7(n2853) background, providing the first experimental evidence for an animal miRNA binding directly to its validated target in vivo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology