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Bioinformatics. 2012 Mar 15;28(6):771-6. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bts043. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Functional microRNA targets in protein coding sequences.

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Institute of Molecular Oncology, Biomedical Sciences Research Center, Vari, Greece.



Experimental evidence has accumulated showing that microRNA (miRNA) binding sites within protein coding sequences (CDSs) are functional in controlling gene expression.


Here we report a computational analysis of such miRNA target sites, based on features extracted from existing mammalian high-throughput immunoprecipitation and sequencing data. The analysis is performed independently for the CDS and the 3(')-untranslated regions (3(')-UTRs) and reveals different sets of features and models for the two regions. The two models are combined into a novel computational model for miRNA target genes, DIANA-microT-CDS, which achieves higher sensitivity compared with other popular programs and the model that uses only the 3(')-UTR target sites. Further analysis indicates that genes with shorter 3(')-UTRs are preferentially targeted in the CDS, suggesting that evolutionary selection might favor additional sites on the CDS in cases where there is restricted space on the 3(')-UTR.

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