ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

microRNA: target this

Credit: Courtesy of Janez Plavec" /> Credit: Courtesy of Janez Plavec The paper: A. Grimson, et al., "MicroRNA targeting specificity in mammals: determinants beyond seed pairing," Mol Cell, 27:91-105, 2007. (Cited in 109 papers) The bottom line: Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologist David Bartel and colleagues constructed an algorithm to predict miRNA target sites on untranslated

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

<figcaption> Credit: Courtesy of Janez Plavec</figcaption>
Credit: Courtesy of Janez Plavec

The paper:

A. Grimson, et al., "MicroRNA targeting specificity in mammals: determinants beyond seed pairing," Mol Cell, 27:91-105, 2007. (Cited in 109 papers)

The bottom line:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologist David Bartel and colleagues constructed an algorithm to predict miRNA target sites on untranslated regions (UTRs) of mRNAs, which affects posttranscriptional repression. In addition to seed pairing, which is the alignment of complimentary sequences between mRNAs and miRNAs, and central to microRNA's function, factors that predict where miRNA binds include adenine and urasil-rich sequences, as well as the distance of target sites away from the center of long UTR's.

The detail:

Prior to this Hot Paper, researchers knew that factors besides seed pairing influenced binding, but Bartel's group considered these other factors in unprecedented detail, according to John Rossi, a molecular geneticist at City of Hope.

The rub:

Oliver Hobert at Columbia University...

The applications:

Rossi, for example, says that his group has used the "Bartelian method" to indentify several SNPs in seed regions or in sequences that precede miRNA genes that are linked to schizophrenia or autism. Furthermore, Bartel's group recently used the algorithms to successfully predict the target sites and show the affect of miRNA miR-223 on protein output in the cell (Nature, 455:64-71, 2008).

AlgorithmAvg. protein repression of top 29 genes predicted to be miR-223 targets
miRanda 13.1%
PicTar 17.0%
TargetScan (based on this Hot Paper) 26.4%

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?
ADVERTISEMENT