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General rules for functional microRNA targeting

Cited 96 time in Web of Science Cited 98 time in Scopus

Kim, Doyeon; Sung, You Me; Park, Jinman; Kim, Sukjun; Kim, Jongkyu; Park, Junhee; Ha, Haeok; Bae, Jung Yoon; Kim, SoHui; Baek, Daehyun

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Nature Publishing Group
Nature Genetics, Vol.48 No.12, pp.1517-1526
The functional rules for microRNA (miRNA) targeting remain controversial despite their biological importance because only a small fraction of distinct interactions, called site types, have been examined among an astronomical number of site types that can occur between miRNAs and their target mRNAs. To systematically discover functional site types and to evaluate the contradicting rules reported previously, we used large-scale transcriptome data and statistically examined whether each of approximately 2 billion site types is enriched in differentially downregulated mRNAs responding to overexpressed miRNAs. Accordingly, we identified seven non-canonical functional site types, most of which are novel, in addition to four canonical site types, while also removing numerous false positives reported by previous studies. Extensive experimental validation and significantly elevated 3' UTR sequence conservation indicate that these non-canonical site types may have biologically relevant roles. Our expanded catalog of functional site types suggests that the gene regulatory network controlled by miRNAs may be far more complex than currently understood.
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