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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;774:225-50. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-5590-1_12.

Web resources for microRNA research.

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  • 1Department of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.


Over the last decade thousands of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been discovered in all kinds of taxa. The ever growing number of identified miRNA genes required ordered cataloging and annotation. This has led to the development of miRNA web resources.MiRNA web resources can be referred to either as web accessible databases (repositories) or web applications that provide a defined computational task upon user request. Today, more than three dozen web accessible resources exist that gather, organize and annotate all kinds of miRNA related data. According to the type of data or data processing method, these miRNA web resources can be classified as miRNA sequence and annotation databases, resources and tools for predicted as well as experimentally validated targets, databases of miRNA regulation and expression, functional annotation and mapping databases and a number of other tools and resources that are species-specific or focus on particular phenotypes.This chapter provides an overview of the different types of miRNA web resources and their purpose and gives some examples for each category. Furthermore, some valuable miRNA web applications will be introduced. Finally, strategies for miRNA data retrieval and associated risks and pitfalls will be discussed.

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