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Computational methods for the identification of microRNA targets

Authors Yang Dai, Xiaofeng Zhou

Published Date May 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 29—39


Published 3 May 2010

Yang Dai1, Xiaofeng Zhou2

1Department of Bioengineering, Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, 2Center for Molecular Biology of Oral Diseases, College of Dentistry, and Graduate College, UIC Cancer Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: MicroRNAs are pivotal regulators of development and cellular homeostasis. They act as post-transcriptional regulators, which control the stability and translation efficiency of their target mRNAs. The prediction of microRNA targets and detection of microRNA-mRNA regulatory modules (MRMs) are crucial components for understanding of microRNA functions. Numerous computational methods for microRNA target prediction have been developed. Computationally-predicted targets have been recently used in the integrative analysis of microRNA and mRNA expression analysis to identify microRNA targets and MRMs. In this article we review these recent developments in the integrative analysis methods. We also discuss the remaining challenges and our insights on future directions.

Keywords: microRNA target prediction, integrative analysis, microRNA regulatory mechanism, microRNA profiling, mRNA expression profiles

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