miRvestigator: web application to identify miRNAs responsible for co-regulated gene expression patterns discovered through transcriptome profiling

Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jul;39(Web Server issue):W125-31. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr374. Epub 2011 May 20.


Transcriptome profiling studies have produced staggering numbers of gene co-expression signatures for a variety of biological systems. A significant fraction of these signatures will be partially or fully explained by miRNA-mediated targeted transcript degradation. miRvestigator takes as input lists of co-expressed genes from Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, G. gallus, Homo sapiens, Mus musculus or Rattus norvegicus and identifies the specific miRNAs that are likely to bind to 3' un-translated region (UTR) sequences to mediate the observed co-regulation. The novelty of our approach is the miRvestigator hidden Markov model (HMM) algorithm which systematically computes a similarity P-value for each unique miRNA seed sequence from the miRNA database miRBase to an overrepresented sequence motif identified within the 3'-UTR of the query genes. We have made this miRNA discovery tool accessible to the community by integrating our HMM algorithm with a proven algorithm for de novo discovery of miRNA seed sequences and wrapping these algorithms into a user-friendly interface. Additionally, the miRvestigator web server also produces a list of putative miRNA binding sites within 3'-UTRs of the query transcripts to facilitate the design of validation experiments. The miRvestigator is freely available at http://mirvestigator.systemsbiology.net.

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions*
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / chemistry*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Software*


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • MicroRNAs