Kavan, master thesis student in our lab, is embarking on an exciting journey to do his PhD at EMBL. He is starting his PhD studies later this month in the group of Olivier Duss, EMBL.
Under the lead of Bastian Fromm from the Friedlander lab, and in collaboration with a large international consortium, a new gold-standard for microRNA annotations, nomenclature and discovery was published with Nucleic Acids Research.
Abstract: MicroRNAs have gained substantial attention due to their roles in animal development and human disorders. Unique and mechanistically well understood features can clearly distinguish bona fide miRNAs from the myriad other small RNAs generated by cells. However, making this distinction is not a common practice and, thus, not surprisingly, the heterogeneous quality of available miRNA complements has become a major concern in microRNA research. We addressed this by extensively expanding our curated microRNA gene database – MirGeneDB – to 45 organisms, encompassing a wide phylogenetic swath of animal evolution. By consistently annotating and naming 10,899 microRNA genes in these organisms, we show that previous microRNA annotations contained not only many false positives, but surprisingly lacked >2000 bona fide microRNAs. Indeed, curated microRNA complements of closely related organisms are very similar and can be used to reconstruct ancestral miRNA repertoires. MirGeneDB represents a robust platform for microRNA-based research, providing deeper and more significant insights into the biology and evolution of miRNAs as well as biomedical and biomarker research.
Link to database: MirGeneDB
Read the full paper here.