PlasmiR: A Manual Collection of Circulating microRNAs of Prognostic and Diagnostic Value
Only recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) were found to exist in traceable and distinctive amounts in the human circulatory system, bringing forth the intriguing possibility of using them as minimally invasive biomarkers. miRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that act as potent post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Extensive studies in cancer and other disease landscapes investigate the protective/pathogenic functions of dysregulated miRNAs, as well as their biomarker potential. A specialized
... esource amassing experimentally verified, circulating miRNA biomarkers does not exist. We queried the existing literature to identify articles assessing diagnostic/prognostic roles of miRNAs in blood, serum, or plasma samples. Articles were scrutinized in order to exclude instances lacking sufficient experimental documentation or employing no biomarker assessment methods. We incorporated information from more than 200 biomedical articles, annotating crucial meta-information including cohort sizes, inclusion-exclusion criteria, disease/healthy confirmation methods and quantification details. miRNAs and diseases were systematically characterized using reference resources. Our circulating miRNA biomarker collection is provided as an online database, plasmiR. It consists of 1021 entries regarding 251 miRNAs and 112 diseases. More than half of plasmiR's entries refer to cancerous and neoplastic conditions, 183 of them (32%) describing prognostic associations. plasmiR facilitates smart queries, emphasizing visualization and exploratory modes for all researchers.