miRCarta: a central repository for collecting miRNA candidates


The continuous increase of available biological data as consequence of modern high-throughput technologies poses new challenges for analysis techniques and database applications. Especially for miRNAs, one class of small non-coding RNAs, many algorithms have been developed to predict new candidates from next-generation sequencing data. While the amount of publications describing novel miRNA candidates keeps steadily increasing, the current gold standard database for miRNAs – miRBase – has not been updated since June 2014. As a result, publications describing new miRNA candidates in the last three to five years might have a substantial overlap of candidates without noticing. With miRCarta we implemented a database to collect novel miRNA candidates and augment the information provided by miRBase. In the first stage, miRCarta is thought to be a highly sensitive collection of potential miRNA candidates with a high degree of analysis functionality, annotations and details on each miRNA. We added—besides the full content of the miRBase—12,857 human miRNA precursors to miRCarta. Users can match their own predictions to the entries of miRCarta to reduce potential redundancies in their studies. miRCarta provides the most comprehensive collection of human miRNAs and miRNA candidates to form a basis for further refinement and validation studies. The database is freely accessible at https://mircarta.cs.uni-saarland.de/.


[BFK+17] Backes, C., Fehlmann, T., Kern, F., Kehl, T., Lenhof, H.-P., Meese, E., Keller, A. miRCarta: a central repository for collecting miRNA candidates. Nucleic Acids Research 46 (D1), D160-D167, 2017. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkx851.
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