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Chiu H-S, Martínez M R, Bansal M, Subramanian S, Golub T R, Yang X, Sumazin P, Califano A .

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play multiple roles in tumor biology. Interestingly, reports from multiple groups suggest that miRNA targets may be coupled through competitive stoichiometric sequestration. Specifically, computational models predicted and experimental assays confirmed that miRNA activity is dependent on miRNA target abundance, and consequently, changes in the abundance of some miRNA targets lead to changes to the regulation and abundance of their other targets. The resulting indirect regulatory influence between miRNA targets resembles competition and has been dubbed competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA). Recent studies have questioned the physiological relevance of ceRNA interactions, our ability to accurately predict these interactions, and the number of genes that are impacted by ceRNA interactions in specific cellular contexts.