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Joint Research Seminar (5 Dec 2013)



Joint Research Seminar

Genomics Strategic Research Theme
Centre for Genomic Sciences
Department of Biochemistry

Quantitative Modeling of Cell-specific
miRNA Abundance


Professor Michael Q Zhang

The University of Texas at Dallas
Tsinghua University

5 December 2013 (Thu)

4:00 – 5:30pm

Seminar Room 7
LG Floor, Faculty of Medicine Building,
21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, HK


miRNA regulation is highly cell-type specific because of relative abundance of miRNA and mRNA and the newly identified ceRNA effect. However, almost all existing methods either neglected the influence of cellular environment when predicting the levels of miRNA regulation. Recently we proposed a thermodynamic model to predict miRNA regulation levels under a given cell type. The major considerations are the relative miRNA-mRNA abundance and the endogenous competition between different mRNA species. The output of our model is the miRNA occupancy rates at target sites, which allows for a new layer of comparison between different cell types. The predicted occupancy rates significantly correlated with HITS-CLIP experiment results, which indicated miRNA binding intensities. When applied to the analysis of breast invasive carcinoma dataset, our method identified potential both oncogenes and onco-miRNAs, many of which were supported by previous studies.


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