An article introducing the microRNA GO annotation resource is now available to read from the RNA journal website. Read the article here: http://rnajournal.cshlp.org/content/early/2018/06/05/rna.065565.118.abst...
The article describes the need for high-quality functional annotation for microRNAs in bioinformatic resources in order to do reliable analyses. Led by Rachael Huntley in Ruth Lovering's group at University College London, and collaborating with Maria Martin's group at EMBL-EBI and British Heart Foundation Professor Manuel Mayr, the microRNA GO annotation project provides, to date, over 3,900 GO annotations to 500 microRNAs, most of which are human. These annotations are already widely available in high-profile knowledgebases such as Ensembl, NCBIGene, miRBase, RNAcentral as well as from the GO Annotation project at EMBL-EBI and the GO Consortium.
Additionally, the project currently provides over 2,200 experimentally validated microRNA:target interactions in Proteomics Standard Initiative Common QUery InterfaCe (PSICQUIC) specification, which can be used to build molecular interaction networks in tools such as Cytoscape.
The paper demonstrates an example use case for the resource by creating a network of direct targets of human microRNA-21, all of which are annotated with GO biological processes pertaining to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, a process that is important in normal development of organs but also implicated in disease.
Growth of this resource will increase the visibility of the microRNA-focused experimental research being published, allowing it to be included in the most commonly used analysis tools. MicroRNA functional analysis will therefore become increasingly meaningful and accurate, thus informing hypotheses for future research into disease therapies.