In-Depth Exploration of miRNA: A New Approach to Study miRNA at the miRNA/isomiR Levels

ISSN: 2212-392X (Online)
ISSN: 1574-8936 (Print)

Volume 12, 6 Issues, 2017

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Current Bioinformatics

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Yi-Ping Phoebe Chen
Department of Computer Science and Information Technology
La Trobe University

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In-Depth Exploration of miRNA: A New Approach to Study miRNA at the miRNA/isomiR Levels

Current Bioinformatics, 9(5): 522-530.

Author(s): Li Guo, Hui Zhang, Yang Zhao, Sheng Yang and Feng Chen.

Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Ministry of Education Key Lab for Modern Toxicology, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, 211166, Nanjing, China.


Accumulating evidences suggest that microRNA (miRNA) is not a single sequence, but a cluster of isomiR sequences with various 5’/3’ ends and length distributions. The typical analysis always focuses on the annotated canonical miRNAs, although the multiple isomiRs have been reported as potential regulatory molecules with versatile biological roles. Herein, we develop an approach to analyze miRNA at the miRNA/isomiR levels. Firstly, isomiR expression profiles are estimated based on miRNA locus. Secondly, isomiR expression profiles are compared between clustered/homologous miRNAs. Thirdly, isomiR expression profiles are assessed at the isomiR level. Those isomiRs with the same “seed sequences” are classified as a special miRNA class. Finally, isomiR:mRNA interaction is predicted at the isomiR level, and target mRNAs and functional enrichment analysis can be performed to explore biological roles. Furthermore, the approach is applied to analyze miRNA at the miRNA/isomiR levels using small RNA sequencing datasets of tumor and normal cells. The analysis at the miRNA/isomiR levels will track miRNA maturation process and biological genesis, and provide more points to explore versatile biological roles of the small non-coding RNAs.


Approach, expression profile, microRNA (miRNA), isomiR.

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Article Details

Volume: 9
Issue Number: 5
First Page: 522
Last Page: 530
Page Count: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1574893608666131120234836
Price: $58

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