Pathway analysis from lists of microRNAs: common pitfalls and alternative strategy.
Bottom Line: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the regulation of gene expression at a post-transcriptional level.In large scale studies, once miRNAs of interest have been identified, the target genes they regulate are often inferred using algorithms or databases.A pathway analysis is then often performed in order to generate hypotheses about the relevant biological functions controlled by the miRNA signature.
Affiliation: IP & Science, Thomson Reuters, 5901 Priestly Drive, #200, Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA.Show MeSH
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Mentions: The most straightforward and widely used strategy to identify pathways associated to a list of miRNAs is to perform an enrichment analysis of the miRNA target genes (Figure 1a) (e.g. (3,4,6–10)). First, genes targeted by any miRNA of interest are identified using a reference database or a prediction algorithm. Then the significance of the overlap between target genes and pathway genes is measured by an enrichment analysis (see ‘Materials and Methods’). This strategy was applied with the AD-up and AD-down lists of miRNAs.
Affiliation: IP & Science, Thomson Reuters, 5901 Priestly Drive, #200, Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA.