Basically, researchers can input names of microRNAs, genes, drugs, diseases or any combination thereof. Then the researcher can ask the database for validated or predicted genetic targets of microRNAs, or for validated/predicted microRNAs that regulate specific genes. Similar is true of diseases and drugs informatics tools show which diseases are associated with microRNAs and which (if any) drugs have been linked to a specific miRNA queried.
Case studies described in the article show how microRNAs may affect voluntary alcohol consumption in mice, candidate genes within signaling pathways associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the microRNA:gene interactions that influence bladder cancer.
"We need data and then we need clever ways to look at it otherwise we drown in the wealth of information," Theodorescu says. "This new tool will allow us to ask new questions of more data with greater precision and get better, more insightful results that will ultimately help develop new approaches for patient treatment."
|Contact: Garth Sundem|
University of Colorado Denver