Conserved seed pairing, often flanked by adenosines, indicates that thousands of human genes are microRNA targets.

Cell 2005 Jan;120(1):15-20

We predict regulatory targets of vertebrate microRNAs (miRNAs) by identifying mRNAs with conserved complementarity to the seed (nucleotides 2-7) of the miRNA. An overrepresentation of conserved adenosines flanking the seed complementary sites in mRNAs indicates that primary sequence determinants can supplement base pairing to specify miRNA target recognition. In a four-genome analysis of 3' UTRs, approximately 13,000 regulatory relationships were detected above the estimate of false-positive predictions, thereby implicating as miRNA targets more than 5300 human genes, which represented 30% of our gene set. Targeting was also detected in open reading frames. In sum, well over one third of human genes appear to be conserved miRNA targets.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2004.12.035DOI Listing
January 2005
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