DEWE – A novel tool for executing differential expression RNA-Seq workflows in biomedical research

Transcriptomics profiling aims to identify and quantify all transcripts present within a cell type or tissue at a particular state, and thus provide information on the genes expressed in specific experimental settings, differentiation or disease conditions. RNA-Seq technology is becoming the standard approach for such studies, but available analysis tools are often hard to install, configure and use by users without advanced bioinformatics skills.

Within reason, DEWE aims to make RNA-Seq analysis as easy for non-proficient users as for experienced bioinformaticians. DEWE supports two well-established and widely used differential expression analysis workflows: using Bowtie2 or HISAT2 for sequence alignment; and, both applying StringTie for quantification, and Ballgown and edgeR for differential expression analysis. Also, it enables the tailored execution of individual tools as well as helps with the management and visualisation of differential expression results.

DEWE provides a user-friendly interface designed to reduce the learning curve of less knowledgeable users while enabling analysis customisation and software extension by advanced users. Docker technology helps overcome installation and configuration hurdles. In addition, DEWE produces high quality and publication-ready outputs in the form of tab-delimited files and figures, as well as helps researchers with further analyses, such as pathway enrichment analysis.


Availability – DEWE installers and documentation are freely available at

López-Fernández H, Blanco-Míguez A, Fdez-Riverola F, Sánchez B, Lourenço A. (2019) DEWE: A novel tool for executing differential expression RNA-Seq workflows in biomedical research. Comput Biol Med 107:197-205. [abstract]

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