miRNA Target Prediction and Target Function Analysis

These target prediction results of miRNAs were derived from miRWalk3.0 (http://mirwalk.umm.uni-heidelberg.de/), which comprehensively contain the miRNA target genes of humans, mice and other species through integrating the TarPmiR algorithm and the information from miRDB, TargetScan, miRTarBase and other databases (33, 34). Since miRNAs negatively regulate their target genes, the spearman correlation coefficient and significance between miRNA and their target genes were calculated. Only those targets with a significant negative correlation with miRNAs (r <−0.2, p <0.05) were further considered as true targets of miRNAs. Kyoto encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis of targets was performed using the clusterProfiler package (35).

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