APADB: a database for alternative polyadenylation and microRNA regulation events

Alternative polyadenylation (APA) is a widespread mechanism that contributes to the sophisticated dynamics of gene regulation. Approximately 50% of all protein-coding human genes harbor multiple polyadenylation (PA) sites; their selective and combinatorial use gives rise to transcript variants with differing length of their 3′ untranslated region (3’UTR). Shortened variants escape UTR-mediated regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs), especially in cancer, where global 3’UTR shortening accelerates disease progression, dedifferentiation and proliferation.

Here researchers from the University of Frankfurt am Main present APADB, a database of vertebrate PA sites determined by 3′ end sequencing, using massive analysis of complementary DNA ends. APADB provides (A)PA sites for coding and non-coding transcripts of human, mouse and chicken genes. For human and mouse, several tissue types, including different cancer specimens, are available. APADB records the loss of predicted miRNA binding sites and visualizes next-generation sequencing reads that support each PA site in a genome browser. The database tables can either be browsed according to organism and tissue or alternatively searched for a gene of interest. APADB is the largest database of APA in human, chicken and mouse. The stored information provides experimental evidence for thousands of PA sites and APA events. APADB combines 3′ end sequencing data with prediction algorithms of miRNA binding sites, allowing to further improve prediction algorithms. Current databases lack correct information about 3’UTR lengths, especially for chicken, and APADB provides necessary information to close this gap.


Availability – Database URL: http://tools.genxpro.net/apadb/

Müller S, Rycak L, Afonso-Grunz F, Winter P, Zawada AM, Damrath E, Scheider J, Schmäh J, Koch I, Kahl G, Rotter B. (2014) APADB: a database for alternative polyadenylation and microRNA regulation events. Database (Oxford). [Epub ahead of print]. [article]