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Bioinformatics. 2019 Dec 20. pii: btz940. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btz940. [Epub ahead of print]

Complexity measures of the mature miRNA for improving pre-miRNAs prediction.

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Research Institute for Signals, Systems and Computational Intelligence sinc(i) (FICH-UNL/CONICET), Ciudad Universitaria, Santa Fe, Argentina.



The discovery of microRNA (miRNA) in the last decade has certainly changed the understanding of gene regulation in the cell. Although a large number of algorithms with different features have been proposed, they still predict an impractical amount of false positives. Most of the proposed features are based on the structure of precursors of the miRNA (pre-miRNA) only, not considering the important and relevant information contained in the mature miRNA. Such new kind of features could certainly improve the performance of the predictors of new miRNAs.


This paper presents three new features that are based on the sequence information contained in the mature miRNA. We will show how these new features, when used by a classical supervised machine learning approach as well as by more recent proposals based on deep learning, improve the prediction performance in a significant way. Moreover, several experimental conditions were defined and tested in order to evaluate the novel features impact in situations close to genome-wide analysis. The results show that the incorporation of new features based on the mature miRNA allow to improve the detection of new miRNAs independently of the classifier used.



Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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