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

From release 14.3 to release 14.8, we have created 998 new microRNA families, and updated 321 existing families. In our latest release, 14.9, we have created an additional 14 families and updated 23 families. We estimate that the project is about 80% 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.