Recent research data reveal complex, network-based interactions between mobile elements and regulatory systems of eukaryotic cells. In this article, we focus on regulatory interactions between Alu elements and micro RNAs (miRNAs). Our results show that the majority of the Alu sequences inserted in 3′UTRs of analyzed human genes carry strong potential target sites for at least 53 different miRNAs. Thus, 3′UTR-located Alu elements may play the role of mobile regulatory modules that supply binding sites for miRNA regulation. Their abundance and ability to distribute a set of certain miRNA target sites may have an important role in establishment, extension, network organization, and, as we suppose – in the regulation and environment-dependent activation/inactivation of some elements of the miRNA regulatory system, as well as for a larger scale RNA-based regulatory interactions. The Alu-miRNA connection may be crucial especially for the primate/human evolution
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