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A new method for discovering disease-specific miRNA-target regulatory networks

Genes and their expression regulation are among the key factors in the comprehension of the genesis and development of complex diseases. In this context, microRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulators that play an important role in gene expression since they are frequently deregulated in pathologies like cardiovascular disease and cancer. In vitro validation of miRNA - targets regulation is often too expensive and time consuming to be carried out for every possible alternative. As a result, a tool able to provide some criteria to prioritize trials is becoming a pressing need. Moreover, before planning in vitro experiments, the scientist needs to evaluate the miRNA-target genes interaction network. In this paper we describe the miRable method whose purpose is to identify new potentially relevant genes and their interaction networks associate to a specific pathology. To achieve this goal miRable follows a system biology approach integrating together general-purpose medical knowledge (literature, Protein-Protein Interaction networks, prediction tools) and pathology specific data (gene expression data). A case study on Prostate Cancer has shown that miRable is able to: 1) find new potential miRNA-targets pairs, 2) highlight novel genes potentially involved in a disease but never or little studied before, 3) reconstruct all possible regulatory subnetworks starting from the literature to expand the knowledge on the regulation of miRNA regulatory mechanisms.


European Association on cancer Research. EACR-AACR-SIC, Anticancer Drug Action and Drug Resistance: from Cancer Biology to the Clinic, Firenze, 2015

Autori IIT:

Francesco Russo

Foto di Francesco Russo

Miriam Baglioni

Foto di Miriam Baglioni

Tipo: Abstract/poster in Atti di convegno internazionale
Area di disciplina: Computer Science & Engineering

Attività: Biologia computazionale