MicroRNAs coordinately regulate protein complexes

Steffen Sass, Sabine Dietmann, Ulrike Burk, Simone Brabletz, Dominik Lutter, Andreas Kowarsch, Klaus F. Mayer, Thomas Brabletz, Andreas Ruepp, Fabian Theis, Yu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: In animals, microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the protein synthesis of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) by either translational repression or deadenylation. miRNAs are frequently found to be co-expressed in different tissues and cell types, while some form polycistronic clusters on genomes. Interactions between targets of co-expressed miRNAs (including miRNA clusters) have not yet been systematically investigated.Results: Here we integrated information from predicted and experimentally verified miRNA targets to characterize protein complex networks regulated by human miRNAs. We found striking evidence that individual miRNAs or co-expressed miRNAs frequently target several components of protein complexes. We experimentally verified that the miR-141-200c cluster targets different components of the CtBP/ZEB complex, suggesting a potential orchestrated regulation in epithelial to mesenchymal transition.Conclusions: Our findings indicate a coordinate posttranscriptional regulation of protein complexes by miRNAs. These provide a sound basis for designing experiments to study miRNA function at a systems level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136
JournalBMC Systems Biology
StatePublished - Aug 25 2011


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