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Genes Dev. 2004 May 15;18(10):1165-78. Epub 2004 May 6.

A combined computational-experimental approach predicts human microRNA targets.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Center for Bioinformatics, and Computer and Information Science, School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


A new paradigm of gene expression regulation has emerged recently with the discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs). Most, if not all, miRNAs are thought to control gene expression, mostly by base pairing with miRNA-recognition elements (MREs) found in their messenger RNA (mRNA) targets. Although a large number of human miRNAs have been reported, many of their mRNA targets remain unknown. Here we used a combined bioinformatics and experimental approach to identify important rules governing miRNA-MRE recognition that allow prediction of human miRNA targets. We describe a computational program, "DIANA-microT", that identifies mRNA targets for animal miRNAs and predicts mRNA targets, bearing single MREs, for human and mouse miRNAs.

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