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PuTmiR: A database for extracting neighboring transcription factors of human microRNAs

Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay and Malay Bhattacharyya*

Author Affiliations

Machine Intelligence Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B. T. Road, Kolkata - 700108, India

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BMC Bioinformatics 2010, 11:190  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-190

Published: 15 April 2010



Some of the recent investigations in systems biology have revealed the existence of a complex regulatory network between genes, microRNAs (miRNAs) and transcription factors (TFs). In this paper, we focus on TF to miRNA regulation and provide a novel interface for extracting the list of putative TFs for human miRNAs. A putative TF of an miRNA is considered here as those binding within the close genomic locality of that miRNA with respect to its starting or ending base pair on the chromosome. Recent studies suggest that these putative TFs are possible regulators of those miRNAs.


The interface is built around two datasets that consist of the exhaustive lists of putative TFs binding respectively in the 10 kb upstream region (USR) and downstream region (DSR) of human miRNAs. A web server, named as PuTmiR, is designed. It provides an option for extracting the putative TFs for human miRNAs, as per the requirement of a user, based on genomic locality, i.e., any upstream or downstream region of interest less than 10 kb. The degree distributions of the number of putative TFs and miRNAs against each other for the 10 kb USR and DSR are analyzed from the data and they explore some interesting results. We also report about the finding of a significant regulatory activity of the YY1 protein over a set of oncomiRNAs related to the colon cancer.


The interface provided by the PuTmiR web server provides an important resource for analyzing the direct and indirect regulation of human miRNAs. While it is already an established fact that miRNAs are regulated by TFs binding to their USR, this database might possibly help to study whether an miRNA can also be regulated by the TFs binding to their DSR.