MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators for target mRNA stability and translation. Although interactions among miRNAs and their target mRNAs are critical, very little experimental data is available. Researchers have to depend on computational predictions. However, with the lack of experimental data, those computational algorithms are not always accurate.
3’UTR-luciferase reporter constructs have been used by many individual researchers as a standard method to validate interactions between miRNAs and their targets. Different from shRNA or siRNA, most of the microRNAs only lower the expression of their targets about 30%. In high over-expression systems, small effects of microRNA usually are not detectable.
OriGene has designed a couple vectors to dramatically increase the sensitivity of detection by reducing the baseline expression of luciferase reporter (100X lower than CMV promoter). This design has been validated by many scientists in their miRNA research.