Endogenous small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs), including microRNAs, PIWI-interacting RNAs and small interfering RNAs, play important gene regulatory roles in animals and plants by pairing to the protein-coding and non-coding transcripts. However, computationally assigning these various sRNAs to their regulatory target genes remains technically challenging. Recently, a high-throughput degradome sequencing method was applied to identify biologically relevant sRNA cleavage sites.
In eukaryotes, diverse small RNA (sRNA) populations including miRNAs, siRNAs and piRNAs regulate gene expression and repress transposons, transgenes and viruses. Functional sRNAs are associated with effector proteins based on their size and nucleotide composition. The sRNA populations are currently analyzed by deep sequencing that generates millions of reads which are then mapped to a reference sequence or database. Here we developed a tool called MISIS to view and analyze sRNA maps of genomic loci and viruses which spawn multiple sRNAs.
The importance of RNA sequence analysis has been increasing since the discovery of various types of non-coding RNAs transcribed in animal cells. Conventional RNA sequence analyses have mainly focused on structured regions, which are stabilized by the stacking energies acting on adjacent base pairs. On the other hand, recent findings regarding the mechanisms of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and transcription regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs) indicate the importance of analyzing accessible regions where no base pairs exist.
Prediction of efficient oligonucleotides for RNA interference presents a serious challenge, especially for the development of genome-wide RNAi libraries which encounter difficulties and limitations due to ambiguities in the results and the requirement for significant computational resources. Here we present a fast and practical algorithm for shRNA design based on the thermodynamic parameters.
RNA interference (RNAi) serves as a powerful and widely used gene silencing tool for basic biological research and is being developed as a therapeutic avenue to suppress disease-causing genes. However, the specificity and safety of RNAi strategies remains under scrutiny because small inhibitory RNAs (siRNAs) induce off-target silencing. Currently, the tools available for designing siRNAs are biased toward efficacy as opposed to specificity.
Small silencing RNAs, including microRNAs, endogenous small interfering RNAs (endo-siRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), have been shown to play important roles in fine-tuning gene expression, defending virus and controlling transposons. Loss of small silencing RNAs or components in their pathways often leads to severe developmental defects, including lethality and sterility. Recently, non-templated addition of nucleotides to the 3' end, namely tailing, was found to associate with the processing and stability of small silencing RNAs.
High-throughput screening (HTS) is an indispensable tool for drug (target) discovery that currently lacks user-friendly software tools for the robust identification of putative hits from HTS experiments and for the interpretation of these findings in the context of systems biology. We developed HiTSeekR as a one-stop solution for chemical compound screens, siRNA knock-down and CRISPR/Cas9 knock-out screens, as well as microRNA inhibitor and -mimics screens.
The Plant Small RNA Maker Site (P-SAMS) is a web tool for the simple and automated design of artificial miRNAs (amiRNAs) and synthetic trans-acting small interfering RNAs (syn-tasiRNAs) for efficient and specific targeted gene silencing in plants. P-SAMS includes two applications, P-SAMS amiRNA Designer and P-SAMS syn-tasiRNA Designer. The navigation through both applications is wizard-assisted, and the job runtime is relatively short.
Genome-wide identification of specific oligonucleotides (oligos) is a computationally-intensive task and is a requirement for designing microarray probes, primers, and siRNAs. An artificial neural network (ANN) is a machine learning technique that can effectively process complex and high noise data. Here, ANNs are applied to process the unique subsequence distribution for prediction of specific oligos.
RNA-dependent gene silencing is becoming a routine tool used in laboratories worldwide. One of the important remaining hurdles in the selection of the target sequence, if not the most important one, is the designing of tools that have minimal off-target effects (i.e. cleaves only the desired sequence). Increasingly, in the current dawn of the post-genomic era, there is a heavy reliance on tools that are suitable for high-throughput functional genomics, consequently more and more bioinformatic software is becoming available.