microRNAs are a recently discovered class of small RNA molecules which have huge regulatory potential. There have been a large number of papers coming out recently showing evidence suggesting their widespread roles in basic biological processes ranging from host-pathogen interaction to oncogenesis.
A large number of oncogenic microRNAs have also been recently shown to be over-expressed in a number of cancers and increasing evidence suggests their causative role in pathogenesis ans well as progression of the disease.
Down regulating microRNAs is also an essential part of the game as a laboratory tool. Classically microRNAs have been down regulated using antisense oligonucleotides with or without backbone modifications.
Here we show that antisense oligonucleotides could be made much more effective by incorporating an enzymatic domain which would cut microRNAs.
See the Nature Indian Newsclip on the paper :
The original publication
Jadhav, M. V. et al. Antagomirzymes: Oligonucleotide Enzymes That Specifically Silence MicroRNA Function. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. doi: 10.1002/anie.200805521 (2009)