MicroRNA(miRNA)–mRNA interactions are important for understanding many biological processes, including development, differentiation and disease progression, but their identification is highly context-dependent. When computationally derived from sequence information alone, the identification should be verified by integrated analyses of mRNA and miRNA expression. The drawback of this strategy is the vast number of identified interactions, which prevents an experimental or detailed investigation of each pair. In this paper, we overcome this difficulty by the recently proposed principal component analysis (PCA)-based unsupervised feature extraction (FE), which reduces the number of identified miRNA–mRNA interactions that properly discriminate between patients and healthy controls without losing biological feasibility. The approach is applied to six cancers: hepatocellular carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, prostate cancer, colorectal/colon cancer and breast cancer. In PCA-based unsupervised FE, the significance does not depend on the number of samples (as in the standard case) but on the number of features, which approximates the number of miRNAs/mRNAs. To our knowledge, we have newly identified miRNA–mRNA interactions in multiple cancers based on a single common (universal) criterion. Moreover, the number of identified interactions was sufficiently small to be sequentially curated by literature searches.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited