King Abdullah University of
Science and Technology Thuwal 23955 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Division of
Medical Genetics, Department of Medicine, University of California, San
Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 USA.
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded non-coding RNA susually of 22 nucleotidesin length that play an
important post-transcriptional regulation role in many organisms. MicroRNAs bind a seed sequence to the 3'-untranslated
region (UTR) region of the target messenger RNA (mRNA), inducing degradation or inhibition of translation and
resulting in a reduction in the protein level. This regulatory mechanism is central to many biological processes and
perturbation could lead to diseases such as cancer. Given the biological importance, of miRNAs, there is a great need to
identify and study their targets and functions. However, miRNAs are very difficult to clone in the lab and this has
hindered the identification of novel miRNAs. Next-generation sequencing coupled with new computational tools has
recently evolved to help researchers efficiently identify large numbers of novel miRNAs. In this review, we describe
recent miRNA prediction tools and discuss their priorities, advantages and disadvantages.