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Circular RNAs are depleted of polymorphisms at microRNA binding sites.
Bioinformatics. 2014 Aug 15;30(16):2243-6. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu257. Epub  2014 Apr 24.

Circular RNAs are depleted of polymorphisms at microRNA binding sites.

Abstract

MOTIVATION:

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are an abundant class of highly stable RNAs that can affect gene regulation by binding and preventing microRNAs (miRNAs) from regulating their messenger RNA (mRNA) targets. Mammals have thousands of circRNAs with predicted miRNA binding sites, but only two circRNAs have been verified as being actual miRNA sponges. As it is unclear whether these thousands of predicted miRNA binding sites are functional, we investigated whether miRNA seed sites within human circRNAs are under selective pressure.

RESULTS:

Using SNP data from the 1000 Genomes Project, we found a significant decrease in SNP density at miRNA seed sites compared with flanking sequences and random sites. This decrease was similar to that of miRNA seed sites in 3' untranslated regions, suggesting that many of the predicted miRNA binding sites in circRNAs are functional and under similar selective pressure as miRNA binding sites in mRNAs.

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.