New technologies are emerging that utilize artificial microRNA (miRNA) target sites to exploit or inhibit endogenous miRNA regulation. This approach has been used to improve cell-specific targeting for gene and stem cell therapy studies and for animal transgenics, and also to reduce the toxicity of oncolytic viruses and to attenuate viral vaccines. Artificial targets have also been used to sponge or decoy miRNAs as a way to study their functions. This article considers the benefits of this approach and design considerations for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-585
Number of pages8
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009


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