microRNA families

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Rfam is collaborating with miRBase in order to provide a comprehensive collection of microRNA families
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Project goal

Both Rfam and miRBase contain classifications of microRNA families. However, before Rfam 14.3 the two databases have not been coordinated or synchronised. Previously, miRBase used a semi-automated clustering method relying on BLAST. These sequence-only miRBase families have higher coverage but lower quality than the Rfam microRNA families.

Before the start of the project, Rfam contained 529 microRNA families, while miRBase annotated 1,983 microRNA families. Only 28% of the miRBase families matched one or more of the Rfam families.

Our goal is to create and review up to 2,000 microRNA families to increase the coverage of microRNAs in Rfam, as well as investigate and rationalise the entries that are unique to each database.

Current progress

In the first phase of the project we have created 998 new microRNA families (356 in release 14.3, 496 in release 14.4, 121 in release 14.6, and 25 in release 14.8) and updated 321 existing families (40 in release 14.3, 112 in release 14.5, 121 in release 14.7, and 48 in release 14.8). We estimate that the project is about 78% complete, and additional microRNA families will be made available in the future releases.

Browse microRNA families

Work in progress

We are working on including additional microRNA families. Contact Rfam if you have questions or feedback about this project.