Computational Methods for MicroRNA Target Prediction

Ekimler S. S. , Sahin K.

GENES, vol.5, no.3, pp.671-683, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/genes5030671
  • Title of Journal : GENES
  • Page Numbers: pp.671-683


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified as one of the most important molecules that regulate gene expression in various organisms. miRNAs are short, 21-23 nucleotide-long, single stranded RNA molecules that bind to 3' untranslated regions (3' UTRs) of their target mRNAs. In general, they silence the expression of their target genes via degradation of the mRNA or by translational repression. The expression of miRNAs, on the other hand, also varies in different tissues based on their functions. It is significantly important to predict the targets of miRNAs by computational approaches to understand their effects on the regulation of gene expression. Various computational methods have been generated for miRNA target prediction but the resulting lists of candidate target genes from different algorithms often do not overlap. It is crucial to adjust the bioinformatics tools for more accurate predictions as it is equally important to validate the predicted target genes experimentally.