Table_1_Correlation Analyses Reveal a Limited Role of Transcription in Genome-Wide Differential MicroRNA Expression in Mammals.XLS

Transcription initiates the cascade of gene expression and is often assumed to play a predominant role in determining how much gene products are ultimately expressed. The relationship between mRNA levels and protein levels has been studied extensively to reveal the degrees of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of protein expression. The extent to which transcription globally controls the differential expression of non-coding RNAs, however, is poorly defined. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small, non-coding RNAs whose biogenesis involves transcription followed by extensive processing. Here, using hundreds of datasets produced from the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) project we calculated the correlations between transcriptional activity and mature miRNA expression in diverse human cells, human tissues, and mouse tissues. While correlations vary among samples, most correlation coefficients are small. Interestingly, excluding miRNAs that were discovered later or weighting miRNA expression improves the correlations. Our results suggest that transcription contributes only modestly to differential miRNA expression at the genome-wide scale in mammals.