Open Access Highly Accessed Methodology article

Prediction and preliminary validation of oncogene regulation by miRNAs

Edyta Koscianska14, Vesselin Baev12, Konstantinia Skreka13, Katerina Oikonomaki13, Ventsislav Rusinov12, Martin Tabler1 and Kriton Kalantidis1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas, PO Box 1385, GR-71110, Heraklion/Crete, Greece

2 Department of Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology, University of Plovdiv 24, Tsar Assen St, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria

3 Department of Biology, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece

4 Laboratory of Cancer Genetics, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Noskowskiego 12/14, 61-704 Poznan, Poland

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BMC Molecular Biology 2007, 8:79  doi:10.1186/1471-2199-8-79

Published: 18 September 2007



MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are one of the most abundant groups of regulatory genes in multicellular organisms, playing important roles in many fundamental cellular processes. More than four hundred miRNAs have been identified in humans and the deregulation of miRNA expression has been also shown in many cancers. Despite the postulated involvement of miRNAs in tumourigenesis, there are only a few examples where an oncogene or a tumour suppressor has been identified as a miRNA target.


Here, we present an in silico analysis of potential miRNA- oncogene interactions. Moreover, we have tested the validity of two possible interactions of miRNAs with genes related to cancer. We present evidence for the down-regulation of c-MYC, one of the most potent and frequently deregulated oncogenes, by let-7 miRNA, via the predicted binding site in the 3'UTR, and verify the suppression of BCL-2 by miR16.


In this work both bioinformatic and experimental approaches for the prediction and validation of possible targets for miRNAs have been used. A list of putative targets for different oncomirs, validation of which would be of special interest, is proposed and two such interactions have been experimentally validated.