Role of conservation in target prediction. (a) Empirical cumulative distribution of log expression changes of genes with single canonical sites for miR-15a, filtered by increasing conservation thresholds. Distributions of more conserved sites display a subtle shift towards negative values indicating a slight increase in downregulation of target genes. (b) Detection rate of miR-15a targets defined as genes with a single canonical miR-15a site that are in the top 5% most downregulated genes (443 genes). Under increasing conservation thresholds, the detection rate of the most downregulated miR-15a targets drops substantially, showing loss of detection of genes with effective but non-conserved sites. Detection rates were scaled by the maximum number of miR-15a targets identified in the top 5% most downregulated genes without conservation filtering (red line).
Betel et al. Genome Biology 2010 11:R90 doi:10.1186/gb-2010-11-8-r90