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Computational functional genomics based analysis of pain-relevant micro-RNAs

: Lotsch, J.; Niederberger, E.; Ultsch, A.


Human genetics 134 (2015), No.11-12, pp.1221-1238
ISSN: 0340-6717 (print)
ISSN: 1432-1203 (online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()

Micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) play a role in pain, based on studies on models of neuropathic or inflammatory pain and clinical evidence. The present analysis made extensive use of computational biology, knowledge discovery methods, publicly available databases and data mining tools to merge results from genetic and miRNA research into an analysis of the systems biological roles of miRNAs in pain. We identified that about one-third of miRNAs detected through nociceptive research have been associated with a mere 18 regulated genes. Substituting the missing genetic information by computational data mining and based on comprehensive current empirical evidence of gene versus miRNA interactions, we have identified a total of 130 pain genes as being probably regulated by a total of 167 different miRNAs. Particularly pain-relevant roles of miRNAs include the control of gene expression at any level and regulation of interleukin-6-related pain entities. Among the miRNAs regulating pain genes are seven that are brain specific, hinting at their therapeutic utility for modulating central nervous mechanisms of pain.