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Identification of Micro-RNA Seed Sequences and Other Possible Conserved Motifs: An Information Theoretic Approach

Micro-RNA (miRNA) is a small non-coding RNA molecule (22 nucleotides) found in plants, animals and some viruses, which regulates the expression of protein coding genes (target gene) by degrading or repressing the translation of its mRNA. For the regulation of target gene, in some cases micro RNA binds fully with mRNA, whereas in other cases it binds only through a specific conserved region in it, called the seed. These seeds having very specific location and size comprise of highly conserved nucleotide sequences. In this paper we have used a unsupervised computational technique to find out those seeds without using the biology of micro-RNA. Our method successfully managed to find 252 known seeds and also suggested a set of probable candidate for other conserved sequence, which can be used as a template for experiment.

Author(s): Md Izhar Ashraf and A. Anny Leema