MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression that control physiological and pathological processes. A global reduction in miRNA abundance and function is a general trait of human cancers, playing a causal role in the transformed phenotype. Here, we sought to newly identify genes involved in the regulation of miRNA function by performing a genetic screen using reporter constructs that measure miRNA function and retrovirus-based random gene disruption. Of the six genes identified, RACK1, which encodes “receptor for activated protein kinase C” (RACK1), was confirmed to be necessary for full miRNA function. RACK1 binds to KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KSRP), a member of the Dicer complex, and is required for the recruitment of mature miRNAs to the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). In addition, RACK1 expression was frequently found to be reduced in hepatocellular carcinoma. These findings suggest the involvement of RACK1 in miRNA function and indicate that reduced miRNA function, due to decreased expression of RACK1, may have pathologically relevant roles in liver cancers
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