Functional microRNA targets in protein coding sequences

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Motivation: Experimental evidence has accumulated showing that microRNA (miRNA) binding sites within protein coding sequences (CDSs) are functional in controlling gene expression.

Results: Here we report a computational analysis of such miRNA target sites, based on features extracted from existing mammalian high-throughput immunoprecipitation and sequencing data. The analysis is performed independently for the CDS and the 3′-untranslated regions (3′-UTRs) and reveals different sets of features and models for the two regions. The two models are combined into a novel computational model for miRNA target genes, DIANA-microT-CDS, which achieves higher sensitivity compared with other popular programs and the model that uses only the 3′-UTR target sites. Further analysis indicates that genes with shorter 3′-UTRs are preferentially targeted in the CDS, suggesting that evolutionary selection might favor additional sites on the CDS in cases where there is restricted space on the 3′-UTR.

Availability: The results of DIANA-microT-CDS are available at;

Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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