Coregulation of transcription factors and microRNAs in human transcriptional regulatory network

Cho Yi Chen, Shui Tein Chen, Chiou Shann Fuh, Hsueh Fen Juan*, Hsuan Cheng Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Recent studies have suggested that miRNAs and transcription factors are primary metazoan gene regulators; however, the crosstalk between them still remains unclear.Methods: We proposed a novel model utilizing functional annotation information to identify significant coregulation between transcriptional and post-transcriptional layers. Based on this model, function-enriched coregulation relationships were discovered and combined into different kinds of functional coregulation networks.Results: We found that miRNAs may engage in a wider diversity of biological processes by coordinating with transcription factors, and this kind of cross-layer coregulation may have higher specificity than intra-layer coregulation. In addition, the coregulation networks reveal several types of network motifs, including feed-forward loops and massive upstream crosstalk. Finally, the expression patterns of these coregulation pairs in normal and tumour tissues were analyzed. Different coregulation types show unique expression correlation trends. More importantly, the disruption of coregulation may be associated with cancers.Conclusion: Our findings elucidate the combinatorial and cooperative properties of transcription factors and miRNAs regulation, and we proposes that the coordinated regulation may play an important role in many biological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberS41
JournalBMC Bioinformatics
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2011


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