Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-35952
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Title: What's the target: understanding two decades of in silico microRNA-target prediction
Author(s): Kern, Fabian
Backes, Christina
Hirsch, Pascal
Fehlmann, Tobias
Hart, Martin
Meese, Eckart
Keller, Andreas
Language: English
Title: Briefings in Bioinformatics
Volume: 21
Issue: 6
Pages: 1999–2010
Publisher/Platform: Oxford University Press
Year of Publication: 2019
Publikation type: Journal Article
Abstract: Motivation Since the initial discovery of microRNAs as post-transcriptional, regulatory key players in the 1990s, a total number of 2656 mature microRNAs have been publicly described for Homo sapiens. As discovery of new miRNAs is still on-going, target identification remains to be an essential and challenging step preceding functional annotation analysis. One key challenge for researchers seems to be the selection of the most appropriate tool out of the larger multiverse of published solutions for a given research study set-up. Results In this review we collectively describe the field of in silico target prediction in the course of time and point out long withstanding principles as well as recent developments. By compiling a catalog of characteristics about the 98 prediction methods and identifying common and exclusive traits, we signpost a simplified mechanism to address the problem of application selection. Going further we devised interpretation strategies for common types of output as generated by frequently used computational methods. To this end, our work specifically aims to make prospective users aware of common mistakes and practical questions that arise during the application of target prediction tools. Availability An interactive implementation of our recommendations including materials shown in the manuscript is freely available at
DOI of the first publication: 10.1093/bib/bbz111
URL of the first publication:
Link to this record: hdl:20.500.11880/32769
ISSN: 1477-4054
Date of registration: 11-Apr-2022
Faculty: M - Medizinische Fakultät
Department: M - Humangenetik
M - Medizinische Biometrie, Epidemiologie und medizinische Informatik
Professorship: M - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Keller
M - Prof. Dr. Eckhart Meese
Collections:SciDok - Der Wissenschaftsserver der Universität des Saarlandes

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