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Mol Biol Evol. 2011 Sep;28(9):2421-4. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msr078. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Increased number of microRNA target sites in genes encoded in CNV regions. Evidence for an evolutionary genomic interaction.

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Department of Biological Sciences and Molecular Medicine Research Center, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and copy number variations (CNVs) are two newly discovered genetic elements that have revolutionized the field of molecular biology and genetics. By performing in silico whole genome analysis, we demonstrate that both the number of miRNAs that target genes found in CNV regions as well as the number of miRNA-binding sites are significantly higher than those of genes found in non-CNV regions. This suggests that miRNAs may have acted as equilibrators of gene expression during evolution in an attempt to regulate aberrant gene expression and to increase the tolerance to genome plasticity.

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