Exp Mol Med.  2010 Apr;42(4):233-244. 10.3858/emm.2010.42.4.032.

Got target?: computational methods for microRNA target prediction and their extension

  • 1College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, Korea.
  • 2School of Electrical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-713, Korea. sryoon@korea.ac.kr


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small RNAs of 19-23 nucleotides that regulate gene expression through target mRNA degradation or translational gene silencing. The miRNAs are reported to be involved in many biological processes, and the discovery of miRNAs has been provided great impacts on computational biology as well as traditional biology. Most miRNA-associated computational methods comprise the prediction of miRNA genes and their targets, and increasing numbers of computational algorithms and web-based resources are being developed to fulfill the need of scientists performing miRNA research. Here we summarize the rules to predict miRNA targets and introduce some computational algorithms that have been developed for miRNA target prediction and the application of the methods. In addition, the issue of target gene validation in an experimental way will be discussed.


algorithms; computational biology; microRNAs; RNA interference; RNA, small interfering; RNA-induced silencing complex
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