Alu elements within human mRNAs are probable microRNA targets

Neil R. Smalheiser, Vetle I. Torvik

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-536
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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