Despite accumulating data on animal and plant microRNAs and their functions, existing public miRNA resources usually collect miRNAs from a very limited number of species. A lot of microRNAs, including those from model organisms, remain undiscovered. As a result there is a continuous need to search for new microRNAs.
Izabela Makałowska’s Laboratory of Evolutionary Genomics at The Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan just published miRNEST, a comprehensive database of animal, plant and virus microRNAs. The core part of the database is built from the author’s miRNA predictions conducted on Expressed Sequence Tags of 225 animal and 202 plant species. The miRNA search was performed based on sequence similarity and as many as 10 004 miRNA candidates in 221 animal and 199 plant species were discovered. Out of them only 299 have already been deposited in miRBase. Additionally, miRNEST has been integrated with external miRNA data from literature and 13 databases, which includes miRNA sequences, small RNA sequencing data, expression, polymorphisms and targets data as well as links to external miRNA resources, whenever applicable. All this makes miRNEST a considerable miRNA resource in a sense of number of species (544) that integrates a scattered miRNA data into a uniform format with a user-friendly web interface.
Szczesniak MW, Deorowicz S, Gapski J, Kaczynski L, Makalowska I. (2011) miRNEST database: an integrative approach in microRNA search and annotation. Nucleic Acids Res [Epub ahead of print]. [article]