Evaluating the Effect of 3'-UTR Variants in DICER1 and DROSHA on Their Tissue-Specific Expression by miRNA Target Prediction

Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2021 Jul 6;43(2):605-617. doi: 10.3390/cimb43020044.


Untranslated gene regions (UTRs) play an important role in controlling gene expression. 3'-UTRs are primarily targeted by microRNA (miRNA) molecules that form complex gene regulatory networks. Cancer genomes are replete with non-coding mutations, many of which are connected to changes in tumor gene expression that accompany the development of cancer and are associated with resistance to therapy. Therefore, variants that occurred in 3'-UTR under cancer progression should be analysed to predict their phenotypic effect on gene expression, e.g., by evaluating their impact on miRNA target sites. Here, we analyze 3'-UTR variants in DICER1 and DROSHA genes in the context of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) development. The key features of this analysis include an assessment of both "canonical" and "non-canonical" types of mRNA-miRNA binding and tissue-specific profiling of miRNA interactions with wild-type and mutated genes. As a result, we obtained a list of DICER1 and DROSHA variants likely altering the miRNA sites and, therefore, potentially leading to the observed tissue-specific gene downregulation. All identified variants have low population frequency consistent with their potential association with pathology progression.

Keywords: 3′-UTR variant; DICER1; DROSHA; gene regulation; miRNA; myelodysplastic syndrome; tissue-specific profiling.

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions*
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • RNA Interference*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Ribonuclease III / genetics*


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • DICER1 protein, human
  • DROSHA protein, human
  • Ribonuclease III
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases