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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2013, Article ID 383024, 12 pages
Research Article

A Complex Network of MicroRNAs Expressed in Brain and Genes Associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Functional Genomics and Gene Silencing Group, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad 500007, India

Received 10 January 2013; Accepted 5 June 2013

Academic Editor: John Parkinson

Copyright © 2013 Santosh Shinde et al. 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.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a rare neurological disease affecting mainly motor neurons and often leads to paralysis and death in extreme cases. For exploring the role of microRNAs in genes regulation in ALS disease, miRanda was employed for prediction of target sites of miRNAs expressed in various parts of brain and CNS on 35 genes associated with ALS. Similar search was conducted using TargetScan and PicTar for prediction of target sites in UTR only. 1456 target sites were predicted using miRanda and more target sites were found in UTR and CDS region as compared to UTR. 11 target sites were predicted to be common by all the algorithms and, thus, these represent the most significant sites. Target site hotspots were identified and were recognized as hotspots for multiple miRNAs action, thus, acting as favoured sites of action for the repression of gene expression. The complex interplay of genes and miRNAs brought about by multiplicity and cooperativity was explored. This investigation will aid in elucidating the mechanism of action of miRNAs for the considered genes. The intrinsic network of miRNAs expressed in nervous system and genes associated with ALS may provide rapid and effective outcome for therapeutic applications and diagnosis.