Exploring the role of human miRNAs in virus–host interactions using systematic overlap analysis

Human miRNAs have recently been found to have important roles in viral replication. Understanding the patterns and details of human miRNA interactions during virus–host interactions may help uncover novel antiviral therapies. Based on the abundance of knowledge available regarding protein–protein interactions (PPI), virus–host protein interactions, experimentally validated human miRNA-target pairs and transcriptional regulation of human miRNAs, it is possible to explore the complex regulatory network that exists between viral proteins and human miRNAs at the system level.

Results: By integrating current data regarding the virus–human interactome and human miRNA-target pairs, the overlap between targets of viral proteins and human miRNAs was identified and found to represent topologically important proteins (e.g. hubs or bottlenecks) at the global center of the human PPI network. Viral proteins and human miRNAs were also found to significantly target human PPI pairs. Furthermore, an overlap analysis of virus targets and transcription factors (TFs) of human miRNAs revealed that viral proteins preferentially target human miRNA TFs, representing a new pattern of virus–host interactions. Potential feedback loops formed by viruses, human miRNAs and miRNA TFs were also identified, and these may be exploited by viruses resulting in greater virulence and more effective replication strategies.

No comments: