Theranostics 2013; 3(12):1004-1011. doi:10.7150/thno.4580


In vivo Monitoring of microRNA Biogenesis Using Reporter Gene Imaging

So Won Oh1, 2, Do Won Hwang1, 3, Dong Soo Lee1, 4✉

1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea;
2. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University Boramae Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea;
3. Institute of Radiation Medicine, Medical Research Center, and
4. WCU, Department of Molecular Medicine and Biopharmaceutical Science, Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

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Oh SW, Hwang DW, Lee DS. In vivo Monitoring of microRNA Biogenesis Using Reporter Gene Imaging. Theranostics 2013; 3(12):1004-1011. doi:10.7150/thno.4580. Available from

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MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNAs regulating gene expression, through base paring with their target mRNAs, which have been actively investigated as key regulators in a wide range of biological processes. Conventional methods such as Northern blot are generally time-consuming, non-repeatable, and cannot be applied in vivo due to the requirement for cell fixation. Therefore, a noninvasive imaging system is required for the monitoring of microRNA biogenesis to understand the versatile functions of microRNAs in vivo as well as in vitro and to accelerate the clinical application of microRNA-based therapy. In this paper, we reviewed noninvasive molecular imaging systems for the monitoring of the biogenesis of microRNAs and post-transcriptional regulation of genes by microRNAs and the roles of microRNAs in various biological processes.

Keywords: MicroRNA biogenesis, MicroRNA imaging, Optical reporter gene, In vivo optical imaging