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      Computational prediction and experimental validation of microRNAs in the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus

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          Abstract

          We used an in silico approach to predict microRNAs (miRNAs) genome-wide in the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. As brown algae are phylogenetically distant from both animals and land plants, our approach relied on features shared by all known organisms, excluding sequence conservation, genome localization and pattern of base-pairing with the target. We predicted between 500 and 1500 miRNAs candidates, depending on the values of the energetic parameters used to filter the potential precursors. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays, we confirmed the existence of 22 miRNAs among 72 candidates tested, and of 8 predicted precursors. In addition, we compared the expression of miRNAs and their precursors in two life cycle states (sporophyte, gametophyte) and under salt stress. Several miRNA precursors, Argonaute and DICER messenger RNAs were differentially expressed in these conditions. Finally, we analyzed the gene organization and the target functions of the predicted candidates. This showed that E. siliculosus miRNA genes are, like plant miRNA genes, rarely clustered and, like animal miRNA genes, often located in introns. Among the predicted targets, several widely conserved functional domains are significantly overrepresented, like kinesin, nucleotide-binding/APAF-1, R proteins and CED-4 (NB-ARC) and tetratricopeptide repeats. The combination of computational and experimental approaches thus emphasizes the originality of molecular and cellular processes in brown algae.

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          Most cited references 72

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          Gapped BLAST and PSI-BLAST: a new generation of protein database search programs.

          The BLAST programs are widely used tools for searching protein and DNA databases for sequence similarities. For protein comparisons, a variety of definitional, algorithmic and statistical refinements described here permits the execution time of the BLAST programs to be decreased substantially while enhancing their sensitivity to weak similarities. A new criterion for triggering the extension of word hits, combined with a new heuristic for generating gapped alignments, yields a gapped BLAST program that runs at approximately three times the speed of the original. In addition, a method is introduced for automatically combining statistically significant alignments produced by BLAST into a position-specific score matrix, and searching the database using this matrix. The resulting Position-Specific Iterated BLAST (PSI-BLAST) program runs at approximately the same speed per iteration as gapped BLAST, but in many cases is much more sensitive to weak but biologically relevant sequence similarities. PSI-BLAST is used to uncover several new and interesting members of the BRCT superfamily.
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            tRNAscan-SE: a program for improved detection of transfer RNA genes in genomic sequence.

            We describe a program, tRNAscan-SE, which identifies 99-100% of transfer RNA genes in DNA sequence while giving less than one false positive per 15 gigabases. Two previously described tRNA detection programs are used as fast, first-pass prefilters to identify candidate tRNAs, which are then analyzed by a highly selective tRNA covariance model. This work represents a practical application of RNA covariance models, which are general, probabilistic secondary structure profiles based on stochastic context-free grammars. tRNAscan-SE searches at approximately 30 000 bp/s. Additional extensions to tRNAscan-SE detect unusual tRNA homologues such as selenocysteine tRNAs, tRNA-derived repetitive elements and tRNA pseudogenes.
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              miRBase: tools for microRNA genomics

              miRBase is the central online repository for microRNA (miRNA) nomenclature, sequence data, annotation and target prediction. The current release (10.0) contains 5071 miRNA loci from 58 species, expressing 5922 distinct mature miRNA sequences: a growth of over 2000 sequences in the past 2 years. miRBase provides a range of data to facilitate studies of miRNA genomics: all miRNAs are mapped to their genomic coordinates. Clusters of miRNA sequences in the genome are highlighted, and can be defined and retrieved with any inter-miRNA distance. The overlap of miRNA sequences with annotated transcripts, both protein- and non-coding, are described. Finally, graphical views of the locations of a wide range of genomic features in model organisms allow for the first time the prediction of the likely boundaries of many miRNA primary transcripts. miRBase is available at http://microrna.sanger.ac.uk/.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                1Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), UMR 7139 Végétaux marins et Biomolécules, Station Biologique, CS 90074, F29688, Roscoff, France and 2Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), UMR 7139 Végétaux marins et Biomolécules, Station Biologique, CS 90074, F29688, Roscoff, France
                Author notes
                *To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel: +33 2 98 29 56 53; Fax: +33 2 98 29 23 24; Email: Bernard.Billoud@ 123456sb-roscoff.fr

                Present address: Aude Le Bail, Department of Biology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Staudtstrasse 5, 91058 Erlangen, Germany.

                Journal
                Nucleic Acids Res
                Nucleic Acids Res
                nar
                nar
                Nucleic Acids Research
                Oxford University Press
                0305-1048
                1362-4962
                January 2014
                26 September 2013
                26 September 2013
                : 42
                : 1
                : 417-429
                24078085 3874173 10.1093/nar/gkt856 gkt856
                © The Author(s) 2013. 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 non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com

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                Pages: 13
                Categories
                Genomics
                Custom metadata
                7 January 2014

                Genetics

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