MicroInspector: a web tool for detection of miRNA binding sites in an RNA sequence

Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Jul 1;33(Web Server issue):W696-700. doi: 10.1093/nar/gki364.


Regulation of post-transcriptional gene expression by microRNAs (miRNA) has so far been validated for only a few mRNA targets. Based on the large number of miRNA genes and the possibility that one miRNA might influence gene expression of several targets simultaneously, the quantity of ribo-regulated genes is expected to be much higher. Here, we describe the web tool MicroInspector that will analyse a user-defined RNA sequence, which is typically an mRNA or a part of an mRNA, for the occurrence of binding sites for known and registered miRNAs. The program allows variation of temperature, the setting of energy values as well as the selection of different miRNA databases to identify miRNA-binding sites of different strength. MicroInspector could spot the correct sites for miRNA-interaction in known target mRNAs. Using other mRNAs, for which such an interaction has not yet been described, we discovered frequently potential miRNA binding sites of similar quality, which can now be analysed experimentally. The MicroInspector program is easy to use and does not require specific computer skills. The service can be accessed via the MicroInspector web server at http://www.imbb.forth.gr/microinspector.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Pairing
  • Binding Sites
  • Internet
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / methods*
  • Software*
  • User-Computer Interface


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger