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Front Genet. 2011 Jul 8;2:39. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2011.00039. eCollection 2011.

MIRNA-DISTILLER: A Stand-Alone Application to Compile microRNA Data from Databases.

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Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Tuebingen Stuttgart, Germany.


MicroRNAs (miRNA) are small non-coding RNA molecules of ∼22 nucleotides which regulate large numbers of genes by binding to seed sequences at the 3'-untranslated region of target gene transcripts. The target mRNA is then usually degraded or translation is inhibited, although thus resulting in posttranscriptional down regulation of gene expression at the mRNA and/or protein level. Due to the bioinformatic difficulties in predicting functional miRNA binding sites, several publically available databases have been developed that predict miRNA binding sites based on different algorithms. The parallel use of different databases is currently indispensable, but highly uncomfortable and time consuming, especially when working with numerous genes of interest. We have therefore developed a new stand-alone program, termed MIRNA-DISTILLER, which allows to compile miRNA data for given target genes from public databases. Currently implemented are TargetScan, microCosm, and miRDB, which may be queried independently, pairwise, or together to calculate the respective intersections. Data are stored locally for application of further analysis tools including freely definable biological parameter filters, customized output-lists for both miRNAs and target genes, and various graphical facilities. The software, a data example file and a tutorial are freely available at


database; gene expression; gene regulation; microRNA; non-coding RNA; stand-alone software

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