Dissecting miRNA function through integrative genomics
The microRNA body map is a repository of RT-qPCR miRNA expression data and functional miRNA annotation in normal and diseased human tissues. The accompanying expression analysis pipeline allows to analyze miRNAs according to tissue specific expression, differential expression between tissues or sample subsets and functional annotation. The expression analysis pipeline is hierarchically structured and allows sample-centric, pathway-centric and miRNA-centric analysis in the available datasets. Additional features include the identification of stable reference miRNAs for data normalization, the identification of tissue or sample specific miRNAs and the visualization of miRNA expression through hierarchically clustered heatmaps or ranked expression maps. For those datasets which have mRNA expression available, functional annotation was inferred using an integrative transcriptomics approach as described previously (1, 2). Functional miRNA annotations based on target prediction were adopted from Tsang et al. (3) and also uploaded in the database. Using the miRNA2function tool, predicted miRNA functions for your miRNA of choice can be retrieved. The function2miRNA tool works the other way around and allows users to select a function of interest and retrieve miRNAs associated with it. In addition, users can upload their own gene set and calculate the association to all miRNAs in different datasets. To complement the functional predictions, an in depth literature knowledge mining tool with result context highlighting to retrieve experimentally validated miRNA functions through a PubMed search is also available. An operating manual is available here. Additional figures and examples of data analysis are listed under the tutorial section.

The current version of the miRNA body map contains miRNA expression for samples representing a total of individual datapoints. An overview of all available datasets is listed on the statistics page. Additional datasets can be uploaded upon request. We strongly encourage co-submission of mRNA and miRNA expression data to allow functional miRNA annotation in the dataset.

The miRNA body map is developed and hosted at Ghent University, Belgium.

  1. M. Guttman et al., Nature 458, 223 (Mar 12, 2009).
  2. P. Mestdagh et al., Oncogene, (Apr 12, 2010).
  3. J. S. Tsang, M. S. Ebert, A. van Oudenaarden, Mol Cell 38, 140 (Apr 9, 2010).