Gene silencing by small RNA molecules: Do we really need yet more regulatory complexity?

Herbert Levine, Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego

MicroRNAs are endogenous 22 nucleotide molecules that accomplish gene silencing by targeting specific messenger RNA’s for translation repression. Many questions remain about both the molecular mechanisms of this repression and the specific roles played by this type of translational control as compared to the more familiar transcriptional regulation. This talk will propose a mathematical framework for discussing microRNA silencing and will discuss two possible examples from the field of developmental biology of dynamical roles played by this extra layer of genetic interaction network