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DNA Cell Biol. 2007 May;26(5):353-60.

Bio-informatic trends for the determination of miRNA-target interactions in mammals.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate mRNAs through a sequence-specific mechanism. By virtue of their structure and mechanism of action, computational methods have been devised to investigate the encoding of miRNA genes and the targets of miRNA action. A variety of assumptions have predicated the implementation of these various computational solutions. Evolutionary sequence conservation, secondary structure, and folding energetics are some of the assumptions that have been used. The success of these different computational solutions has been evaluated for both elucidation of new miRNAs and deducing targets of miRNA action. While the focus is on search techniques for new miRNAs, we have compared the programs miRseeker, miRScan, PalGrade, ProMiR, and miRAlign as examples of implementation of these techniques. For these programs, a benchmark comparison between theoretical estimation and actual identification is possible. We have also compared the target prediction programs TargetScanS, PicTar, DIANA-microT, miRanda, and RNAhybrid. However, it is difficult to rigorously assess the benchmark performance of these programs due to the difficulty in confirming their theoretical predictions.

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