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      psRNATarget: a plant small RNA target analysis server

      , *

      Nucleic Acids Research

      Oxford University Press

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          Abstract

          Plant endogenous non-coding short small RNAs (20–24 nt), including microRNAs (miRNAs) and a subset of small interfering RNAs (ta-siRNAs), play important role in gene expression regulatory networks (GRNs). For example, many transcription factors and development-related genes have been reported as targets of these regulatory small RNAs. Although a number of miRNA target prediction algorithms and programs have been developed, most of them were designed for animal miRNAs which are significantly different from plant miRNAs in the target recognition process. These differences demand the development of separate plant miRNA (and ta-siRNA) target analysis tool(s). We present psRNATarget, a plant small RNA target analysis server, which features two important analysis functions: (i) reverse complementary matching between small RNA and target transcript using a proven scoring schema, and (ii) target-site accessibility evaluation by calculating unpaired energy (UPE) required to ‘open’ secondary structure around small RNA’s target site on mRNA. The psRNATarget incorporates recent discoveries in plant miRNA target recognition, e.g. it distinguishes translational and post-transcriptional inhibition, and it reports the number of small RNA/target site pairs that may affect small RNA binding activity to target transcript. The psRNATarget server is designed for high-throughput analysis of next-generation data with an efficient distributed computing back-end pipeline that runs on a Linux cluster. The server front-end integrates three simplified user-friendly interfaces to accept user-submitted or preloaded small RNAs and transcript sequences; and outputs a comprehensive list of small RNA/target pairs along with the online tools for batch downloading, key word searching and results sorting. The psRNATarget server is freely available at http://plantgrn.noble.org/psRNATarget/.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Identification of common molecular subsequences.

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            Widespread translational inhibition by plant miRNAs and siRNAs.

            High complementarity between plant microRNAs (miRNAs) and their messenger RNA targets is thought to cause silencing, prevalently by endonucleolytic cleavage. We have isolated Arabidopsis mutants defective in miRNA action. Their analysis provides evidence that plant miRNA-guided silencing has a widespread translational inhibitory component that is genetically separable from endonucleolytic cleavage. We further show that the same is true of silencing mediated by small interfering RNA (siRNA) populations. Translational repression is effected in part by the ARGONAUTE proteins AGO1 and AGO10. It also requires the activity of the microtubule-severing enzyme katanin, implicating cytoskeleton dynamics in miRNA action, as recently suggested from animal studies. Also as in animals, the decapping component VARICOSE (VCS)/Ge-1 is required for translational repression by miRNAs, which suggests that the underlying mechanisms in the two kingdoms are related.
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              The microRNAs of Caenorhabditis elegans.

              MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an abundant class of tiny RNAs thought to regulate the expression of protein-coding genes in plants and animals. In the present study, we describe a computational procedure to identify miRNA genes conserved in more than one genome. Applying this program, known as MiRscan, together with molecular identification and validation methods, we have identified most of the miRNA genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The total number of validated miRNA genes stands at 88, with no more than 35 genes remaining to be detected or validated. These 88 miRNA genes represent 48 gene families; 46 of these families (comprising 86 of the 88 genes) are conserved in Caenorhabditis briggsae, and 22 families are conserved in humans. More than a third of the worm miRNAs, including newly identified members of the lin-4 and let-7 gene families, are differentially expressed during larval development, suggesting a role for these miRNAs in mediating larval developmental transitions. Most are present at very high steady-state levels-more than 1000 molecules per cell, with some exceeding 50,000 molecules per cell. Our census of the worm miRNAs and their expression patterns helps define this class of noncoding RNAs, lays the groundwork for functional studies, and provides the tools for more comprehensive analyses of miRNA genes in other species.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nucleic Acids Res
                nar
                nar
                Nucleic Acids Research
                Oxford University Press
                0305-1048
                1362-4962
                1 July 2011
                1 July 2011
                27 May 2011
                27 May 2011
                : 39
                : Web Server issue , Web Server issue
                : W155-W159
                Affiliations
                Plant Biology Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA
                Author notes
                *To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel: +1 580 224 6725, Fax: +1 580 224 6692; Email: pzhao@ 123456noble.org
                Article
                gkr319
                10.1093/nar/gkr319
                3125753
                21622958
                © The Author(s) 2011. Published by Oxford University Press.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Pages: 5
                Categories
                Articles

                Genetics

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