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Trends Genet. 2006 Oct;22(10):532-6. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

Alu elements within human mRNAs are probable microRNA targets.

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  • 1University of Illinois-Chicago, UIC Psychiatric Institute MC912, 1601 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. neils@uic.edu


Recently, we reported that four microRNAs show perfect complementarity with MIR/LINE-2 elements within human mRNAs. This finding raises the question of whether microRNAs might also target other genomic repeats and transposable elements. Here, we demonstrate that almost 30 human microRNAs exhibit typical short-seed complementarity with a specific site within Alu elements that is highly conserved within 3' untranslated regions of human mRNAs. The results suggest that at least some Alu elements within human mRNAs serve as microRNA targets.

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