MicroRNA Target Prediction and Validation

  • William Ritchie
  • John E. J. Rasko
  • Stéphane Flamant
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 774)


The accurate prediction and validation of microRNA targets is essential to understanding the function of microRNAs. Computational predictions indicate that all human genes may be regulated by microRNAs, with each microRNA possibly targeting thousands of genes. Here we discuss computational and experimental methods for identifying mammalian microRNA targets. We describe microRNA target prediction resources and procedures that are suitable for experiments where more accurate prediction of microRNA targets is more important than detecting all putative targets. We then discuss experimental methods for identifying and validating microRNA target genes, with an emphasis on the target reporter assay as the method of choice for specifically testing functional microRNA target sites.


microRNA Target genes microRNA expression Gene regulation Experimental validation Target prediction algorithms Bioinformatics 



The authors thank DIM Biothérapies, Stem Pole Ile-de-France, Cure The Future (Cell and Gene Trust), the Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation and the Cancer Council NSW [Project Grant 1006260] and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council [Training Fellowship 571156] for support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Ritchie
    • 1
  • John E. J. Rasko
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stéphane Flamant
    • 3
  1. 1.Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program, Centenary InstituteUniversity of SydneyNewtownAustralia
  2. 2.Cell and Molecular TherapiesRPA HospitalNewtownAustralia
  3. 3.INSERM UMR-935VillejuifFrance

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