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BMC Genomics

, 13:707

Human and rodent genomic


BackgroundmicroRNAs miRNAs represent a class of small typically 22 nucleotides in length non-coding RNAs that can degrade their target mRNAs or block their translation. Recent research showed that copy number alterations of miRNAs and their target genes are highly prevalent in cancers; however, the evolutionary and biological functions of naturally existing copy number variable miRNAs CNV-miRNAs among individuals have not been studied extensively throughout the genome.

ResultsIn this study, we comprehensively analyzed the properties of genes regulated by CNV-miRNAs, and found that CNV-miRNAs tend to target a higher average number of genes and prefer to synergistically regulate the same genes; further, the targets of CNV-miRNAs tend to have higher variability of expression within and between populations. Finally, we found the targets of CNV-miRNAs are more likely to be differentially expressed among tissues and developmental stages, and participate in a wide range of cellular responses.

ConclusionsOur analyses of CNV-miRNAs provide new insights into the impact of copy number variations on miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional networks. The deeper interpretation of patterns of gene expression variation and the functional characterization of CNV-miRNAs will help to broaden the current understanding of the molecular basis of human phenotypic diversity.

KeywordsCopy number variationmiRNAExpression variationHapMap ethnic populationAbbreviationsCNVCopy number variation

CNV-miRNAmiRNA that is located in copy number variation regions

non-CNV-miRNAmiRNA that is not located in copy number variation regions

CEUU.S. residents with northern and western European ancestry

YRIYoruba people of Ibadan, Nigeria

CHBChinese Han in Beijing

JPTJapanese from Tokyo

CVThe coefficient of variation ratio

MAFMinor allele frequency

GOGene Ontology.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2164-13-707 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: XudongWu - DinglinZhang - GuohuiLi


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