The interaction of miRNA and lncRNA is known to be important for gene regulations. However, not many computational approaches have been developed to analyze known interactions and predict the unknown ones. Given that there are now more evidences that suggest that lncRNA–miRNA interactions are closely related to their relative expression levels in the form of a titration mechanism, we analyzed the patterns in large-scale expression profiles of known lncRNA–miRNA interactions. From these uncovered patterns, we noticed that lncRNAs tend to interact collaboratively with miRNAs of similar expression profiles, and vice versa.


By representing known interaction between lncRNA and miRNA as a bipartite graph, we propose here a technique, called EPLMI, to construct a prediction model from such a graph. EPLMI performs its tasks based on the assumption that lncRNAs that are highly similar to each other tend to have similar interaction or non-interaction patterns with miRNAs and vice versa. The effectiveness of the prediction model so constructed has been evaluated using the latest dataset of lncRNA–miRNA interactions. The results show that the prediction model can achieve AUCs of 0.8522 and 0.8447 ± 0.0017 based on leave-one-out cross validation and 5-fold cross validation. Using this model, we show that lncRNA–miRNA interactions can be reliably predicted. We also show that we can use it to select the most likely lncRNA targets that specific miRNAs would interact with. We believe that the prediction models discovered by EPLMI can yield great insights for further research on ceRNA regulation network. To the best of our knowledge, EPLMI is the first technique that is developed for large-scale lncRNA–miRNA interaction profiling.

Availability and implementation

Matlab codes and dataset are available at

Supplementary information

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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