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Open Access Integrative Approaches for microRNA Target Prediction: Combining Sequence Information and the Paired mRNA and miRNA Expression Profiles

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Gene regulation is a key factor in gaining a full understanding of molecular biology. microRNA (miRNA), a novel class of non-coding RNA, has recently been found to be one crucial class of post-transactional regulators, and play important roles in cancer. One essential step to understand the regulatory effect of miRNAs is the reliable prediction of their target mRNAs. Typically, the predictions are solely based on the sequence information, which unavoidably have high false detection rates. Recently, some novel approaches are developed to predict miRNA targets by integrating the typical algorithm with the paired expression profiles of miRNA and mRNA. Here we review and discuss these integrative approaches and propose a new algorithm called HCTarget. Applying HCtarget to the expression data in multiple myeloma, we predict target genes for ten specific miRNAs. The experimental verification and a loss of function study validate our predictions. Therefore, the integrative approach is a reliable and effective way to predict miRNA targets, and could improve our comprehensive understanding of gene regulation.
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Keywords: BAYESIAN NETWORK APPROACH; Expression profile; Gene regulation; ONTOLOGY ENRICHMENT ANALYSIS; STATISTICAL INFERENCE; cancer; integrative analysis; miRNA; molecular biology; target prediction

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2013

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  • Current Bioinformatics aims to publish all the latest and outstanding developments in bioinformatics. Each issue contains a series of timely, in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field, covering a wide range of the integration of biology with computer and information science.

    The journal focuses on reviews on advances in computational molecular/structural biology, encompassing areas such as computing in biomedicine and genomics, computational proteomics and systems biology, and metabolic pathway engineering. Developments in these fields have direct implications on key issues related to health care, medicine, genetic disorders, development of agricultural products, renewable energy, environmental protection, etc.

    Current Bioinformatics is an essential journal for all academic and industrial researchers who want expert knowledge on all major advances in bioinformatics.
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