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Bioinformatics. 2019 Dec 12. pii: btz929. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btz929. [Epub ahead of print]

FFLtool: A Web Server for Transcription Factor and miRNA Feed Forward Loop Analysis in Human.

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Department of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Hubei Bioinformatics and Molecular Imaging Key Laboratory, Key Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics of the Ministry of Education, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, PRC.



Transcription factors (TFs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) are two kinds of important regulators for transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulations. Understanding cross-talks between the two regulators and their targets is critical to reveal complex molecular regulatory mechanisms. Here, we developed FFLtool, a web server for detecting potential feed forward loop (FFL) of TF-miRNA-target regulation in human. In FFLtool, we integrated comprehensive regulations of TF-target and miRNA-target, and developed two functional modules: (i) The "FFL Analysis" module can detect potential FFLs and internal regulatory networks in a user-defined gene set. FFLtool also provides three levels of evidence to illustrate the reliability for each FFL and enrichment functions for co-target genes of the same TF and miRNA; (ii) The "Browse FFLs" module displays FFLs comprised of differentially or specifically expressed TFs and miRNAs and their target genes in cancers. FFLtool is a valuable resource for investigating gene expression regulation and mechanism study in biological processes and diseases.


FFLtool is available on


Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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