We report an efficient method for detecting functional RNAs. The approach, which combines comparative sequence analysis and structure prediction, already has yielded excellent results for a small number of aligned sequences and is suitable for large-scale genomic screens.
MicroRNAs are key regulators of gene expression, but the precise mechanisms underlying their interaction with their mRNA targets are still poorly understood. Here, we systematically investigate the role of target-site accessibility, as determined by base-pairing interactions within the mRNA, in microRNA target recognition. We experimentally show that mutations diminishing target accessibility substantially reduce microRNA-mediated translational repression, with effects comparable to those of mutations that disrupt sequence complementarity.
There are numerous examples of RNA-RNA complexes, including microRNA-mRNA and small RNA-mRNA duplexes for regulation of translation, guide RNA interactions with target RNA for post-transcriptional modification and small nuclear RNA duplexes for splicing. Predicting the base pairs formed between two interacting sequences remains difficult, at least in part because of the competition between unimolecular and bimolecular structure.
We present a new microRNA target prediction algorithm called TargetBoost, and show that the algorithm is stable and identifies more true targets than do existing algorithms. TargetBoost uses machine learning on a set of validated microRNA targets in lower organisms to create weighted sequence motifs that capture the binding characteristics between microRNAs and their targets.
The use of exogenous small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) for gene silencing has quickly become a widespread molecular tool providing a powerful means for gene functional study and new drug target identification. Although considerable progress has been made recently in understanding how the RNAi pathway mediates gene silencing, the design of potent siRNAs remains challenging.
Given an mRNA sequence as input, the OligoWalk web server generates a list of small interfering RNA (siRNA) candidate sequences, ranked by the probability of being efficient siRNA (silencing efficacy greater than 70%). To accomplish this, the server predicts the free energy changes of the hybridization of an siRNA to a target mRNA, considering both siRNA and mRNA self-structure. The free energy changes of the structures are rigorously calculated using a partition function calculation.
Recent interests, such as RNA interference and antisense RNA regulation, strongly motivate the problem of predicting whether two nucleic acid strands interact.
Regulatory, non-coding RNAs often function by forming a duplex with other RNAs. It is therefore of interest to predict putative RNA-RNA duplexes in silico on a genome-wide scale. Current computational methods for predicting these interactions range from fast complementary-based searches to those that take intramolecular binding into account. Together these methods constitute a trade-off between speed and accuracy, while leaving room for improvement within the context of genome-wide screens. A fast pre-filtering of putative duplexes would therefore be desirable.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that have been found in most of the eukaryotic organisms. They are involved in the regulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in a sequence specific manner. MiRNAs are produced from their precursors by Dicer-dependent small RNA biogenesis pathway. Involvement of miRNAs in a wide range of biological processes makes them excellent candidates for studying gene function or for therapeutic applications. For this purpose, different RNA-based gene silencing techniques have been developed.