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Advances in Bioinformatics
Volume 2012, Article ID 839837, 10 pages
Research Article

MicroRNA Response Elements-Mediated miRNA-miRNA Interactions in Prostate Cancer

1Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
2Biotechnology Research Center, Palestine Polytechnic University, Hebron, Palestine

Received 21 April 2012; Revised 12 September 2012; Accepted 29 September 2012

Academic Editor: Ramana Davuluri

Copyright © 2012 Mohammed Alshalalfa. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The cell is a highly organized system of interacting molecules including proteins, mRNAs, and miRNAs. Analyzing the cell from a systems perspective by integrating different types of data helps revealing the complexity of diseases. Although there is emerging evidence that microRNAs have a functional role in cancer, the role of microRNAs in mediating cancer progression and metastasis remains not fully explored. As the amount of available miRNA and mRNA gene expression data grows, more systematic methods combining gene expression and biological networks become necessary to explore miRNA function. In this work I integrated functional miRNA-target interactions with mRNA and miRNA expression to infer mRNA-mediated miRNA-miRNA interactions. The inferred network represents miRNA modulation through common targets. The network is used to characterize the functional role of microRNA response element (MRE) to mediate interactions between miRNAs targeting the MRE. Results revealed that miRNA-1 is a key player in regulating prostate cancer progression. 11 miRNAs were identified as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers that act as tumor suppressor miRNAs. This work demonstrates the utility of a network analysis as opposed to differential expression to find important miRNAs that regulate prostate cancer.