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07 2020 Nucleic acids research

miRViz: a novel webserver application to visualize and interpret microRNA datasets.


Giroux P, Bhajun R, Segard S, Picquenot C, Charavay C, Desquilles L, Pinna G, Ginestier C, Denis J, Cherradi N, Guyon L


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are involved in the regulation of major pathways in eukaryotic cells through their binding to and repression of multiple mRNAs. With high-throughput methodologies, various outcomes can be measured that produce long lists of miRNAs that are often difficult to interpret. A common question is: after differential expression or phenotypic screening of miRNA mimics, which miRNA should be chosen for further investigation? Here, we present miRViz (http://mirviz.prabi.fr/), a webserver application designed to visualize and interpret large miRNA datasets, with no need for programming skills. MiRViz has two main goals: (i) to help biologists to raise data-driven hypotheses and (ii) to share miRNA datasets in a straightforward way through publishable quality data representation, with emphasis on relevant groups of miRNAs. MiRViz can currently handle datasets from 11 eukaryotic species. We present real-case applications of miRViz, and provide both datasets and procedures to reproduce the corresponding figures. MiRViz offers rapid identification of miRNA families, as demonstrated here for the miRNA-320 family, which is significantly exported in exosomes of colon cancer cells. We also visually highlight a group of miRNAs associated with pluripotency that is particularly active in control of a breast cancer stem-cell population in culture.

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