Biogenesis and function of small RNAs

How does the biogenesis of small regulatory RNAs take place? This is not just a question of making a transcript and trimming it to the right size. The precision of gene regulation by microRNAs requires that their production and maturation to be tightly controlled. Despite their structural resemblance, the different types of small RNA precursors must be recognized and are treated appropriately - a formidable biochemical task for the cell.  We are elucidating how differences in biogenesis pathways are implicated and how this affects small RNA biology in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.