TargetScan predicts biological targets of miRNAs by searching for the presence of conserved 8mer and 7mer sites that match the seed region of each miRNA (ref. 1). As an option, nonconserved sites are also predicted.`
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Lewis, B. P., Shih, I-h., Jones-Rhoades, M. W., Bartel, D. P. and Burge, C. B. (2003).
Prediction of mammalian microRNA targets.
Cell 115, 787-798. (TargetScan)
Lewis, B. P., Burge, C. B. and Bartel, D. P. (2005).
Conserved seed pairing, often flanked by adenosines, indicates that thousands of human genes are microRNA targets.
Cell 120, 15-20. (TargetScanS)