Alu elements within human mRNAs are probable microRNA targets

Trends Genet. 2006 Oct;22(10):532-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2006.08.007. Epub 2006 Aug 17.


Recently, we reported that four microRNAs show perfect complementarity with MIR/LINE-2 elements within human mRNAs. This finding raises the question of whether microRNAs might also target other genomic repeats and transposable elements. Here, we demonstrate that almost 30 human microRNAs exhibit typical short-seed complementarity with a specific site within Alu elements that is highly conserved within 3' untranslated regions of human mRNAs. The results suggest that at least some Alu elements within human mRNAs serve as microRNA targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Alu Elements*
  • Base Sequence
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry*
  • Sequence Alignment


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger