• Preferential regulation of stably expressed genes in the human genome suggests a widespread expression buffering role of microRNAs

      Yang, Zhen; Dong, Dong; Zhang, Zhaolei; Crabbe, M. James C.; Wang, Li; Zhong, Yang (BioMed Central, 2012)
      In this study, we comprehensively explored the stably expressed genes (SE genes) and fluctuant genes (FL genes) in the human genome by a meta-analysis of large scale microarray data. We found that these genes have distinct function distributions. miRNA targets are shown to be significantly enriched in SE genes by using propensity analysis of miRNA regulation, supporting the hypothesis that miRNAs can buffer whole genome expression fluctuation. The expression-buffering effect of miRNA is independent of the target site number within the 3'-untranslated region. In addition, we found that gene expression fluctuation is positively correlated with the number of transcription factor binding sites in the promoter region, which suggests that coordination between transcription factors and miRNAs leads to balanced responses to external perturbations.