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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 2456076, 4 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/2456076
Research Article

Clustering Pattern and Functional Effect of SNPs in Human miRNA Seed Regions

1Bioinformatics Section, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, China
2Department of Medical Genetics, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, China
3Guangdong Key Laboratory of Biochip Technology, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, China
4Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Psychiatric Disorders, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jian Zhang; moc.liamxof@ums.gnahznaij

Received 5 December 2017; Accepted 7 February 2018; Published 6 March 2018

Academic Editor: Giulia Piaggio

Copyright © 2018 Sha He 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.

Abstract

miRNAs are a class of noncoding RNAs important in posttranscriptional repressors and involved in the regulation of almost every biological process by base paring with target genes through sequence in their seed regions. Genetic variations in the seed regions have vital effects on gene expression, phenotypic variation, and disease susceptibility in humans. The distribution pattern of genetic variation in miRNA seed regions might be related to miRNA function and is worth paying more attention to. We here employed computational analyses to explore the clustering pattern and functional effect of SNPs in human miRNA seed regions. A total of 1879 SNPs were mapped to 1226 human miRNA seed regions. We found that miRNAs with SNPs in their seed region are significantly enriched in miRNA clusters. We also found that SNPs in clustered miRNA seed regions have a lower functional effect than have SNPs in nonclustered miRNA seed regions. Additionally, we found that clustered miRNAs with SNPs in seed regions are involved in more pathways. Overall, our results demonstrate that SNPs in clustered miRNA seed regions can take part in more intricate and complex gene-regulating networks with lower functional cost by functional complementarity. Moreover, our results also broaden current knowledge on the genetic variation in human miRNA seed regions.