AtCircDB: A tissue-specific database for Arabidopsis circular RNAs

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Journal Article
Briefings in Bioinformatics, 2019, 20 (1), pp. 58 - 65
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© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Circular RNAs are widely existing in eukaryotes. However, there is as yet no tissue-specific Arabidopsis circular RNA database, which hinders the study of circular RNA in plants. Here, we used 622 Arabidopsis RNA sequencing data sets from 87 independent studies hosted at NCBI SRA and developed AtCircDB to systematically identify, store and retrieve circular RNAs. By analyzing back-splicing sites, we characterized 84 685 circular RNAs, 30 648 tissue-specific circular RNAs and 3486 microRNA-circular RNA interactions. In addition, we used a metric (detection score) to measure the detection ability of the circular RNAs using a big-data approach. By experimental validation, we demonstrate that this metric improves the accuracy of the detection algorithm. We also defined the regions hosting enriched circular RNAs as super circular RNA regions. The results suggest that these regions are highly related to alternative splicing and chloroplast. Finally, we developed a comprehensive tissue-specific database (AtCircDB) to help the community store, retrieve, visualize and download Arabidopsis circular RNAs. This database will greatly expand our understanding of circular RNAs and their related regulatory networks. AtCircDB is freely available at
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