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author:("jalili, akshi")
1.  The Zebrafish GenomeWiki: a crowdsourcing approach to connect the long tail for zebrafish gene annotation 
A large repertoire of gene-centric data has been generated in the field of zebrafish biology. Although the bulk of these data are available in the public domain, most of them are not readily accessible or available in nonstandard formats. One major challenge is to unify and integrate these widely scattered data sources. We tested the hypothesis that active community participation could be a viable option to address this challenge. We present here our approach to create standards for assimilation and sharing of information and a system of open standards for database intercommunication. We have attempted to address this challenge by creating a community-centric solution for zebrafish gene annotation. The Zebrafish GenomeWiki is a ‘wiki’-based resource, which aims to provide an altruistic shared environment for collective annotation of the zebrafish genes. The Zebrafish GenomeWiki has features that enable users to comment, annotate, edit and rate this gene-centric information. The credits for contributions can be tracked through a transparent microattribution system. In contrast to other wikis, the Zebrafish GenomeWiki is a ‘structured wiki’ or rather a ‘semantic wiki’. The Zebrafish GenomeWiki implements a semantically linked data structure, which in the future would be amenable to semantic search.
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PMCID: PMC3936183  PMID: 24578356
2.  Dynamic Expression of Long Non-Coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in Adult Zebrafish 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83616.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) represent an assorted class of transcripts having little or no protein coding capacity and have recently gained importance for their function as regulators of gene expression. Molecular studies on lncRNA have uncovered multifaceted interactions with protein coding genes. It has been suggested that lncRNAs are an additional layer of regulatory switches involved in gene regulation during development and disease. LncRNAs expressing in specific tissues or cell types during adult stages can have potential roles in form, function, maintenance and repair of tissues and organs. We used RNA sequencing followed by computational analysis to identify tissue restricted lncRNA transcript signatures from five different tissues of adult zebrafish. The present study reports 442 predicted lncRNA transcripts from adult zebrafish tissues out of which 419 were novel lncRNA transcripts. Of these, 77 lncRNAs show predominant tissue restricted expression across the five major tissues investigated. Adult zebrafish brain expressed the largest number of tissue restricted lncRNA transcripts followed by cardiovascular tissue. We also validated the tissue restricted expression of a subset of lncRNAs using independent methods. Our data constitute a useful genomic resource towards understanding the expression of lncRNAs in various tissues in adult zebrafish. Our study is thus a starting point and opens a way towards discovering new molecular interactions of gene expression within the specific adult tissues in the context of maintenance of organ form and function.
PMCID: PMC3877055  PMID: 24391796
3.  lncRNome: a comprehensive knowledgebase of human long noncoding RNAs 
The advent of high-throughput genome scale technologies has enabled us to unravel a large amount of the previously unknown transcriptionally active regions of the genome. Recent genome-wide studies have provided annotations of a large repertoire of various classes of noncoding transcripts. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) form a major proportion of these novel annotated noncoding transcripts, and presently known to be involved in a number of functionally distinct biological processes. Over 18 000 transcripts are presently annotated as lncRNA, and encompass previously annotated classes of noncoding transcripts including large intergenic noncoding RNA, antisense RNA and processed pseudogenes. There is a significant gap in the resources providing a stable annotation, cross-referencing and biologically relevant information. lncRNome has been envisioned with the aim of filling this gap by integrating annotations on a wide variety of biologically significant information into a comprehensive knowledgebase. To the best of our knowledge, lncRNome is one of the largest and most comprehensive resources for lncRNAs.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC3708617  PMID: 23846593
4.  MitoLSDB: A Comprehensive Resource to Study Genotype to Phenotype Correlations in Human Mitochondrial DNA Variations 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60066.
Human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes a set of 37 genes which are essential structural and functional components of the electron transport chain. Variations in these genes have been implicated in a broad spectrum of diseases and are extensively reported in literature and various databases. In this study, we describe MitoLSDB, an integrated platform to catalogue disease association studies on mtDNA ( The main goal of MitoLSDB is to provide a central platform for direct submissions of novel variants that can be curated by the Mitochondrial Research Community. MitoLSDB provides access to standardized and annotated data from literature and databases encompassing information from 5231 individuals, 675 populations and 27 phenotypes. This platform is developed using the Leiden Open (source) Variation Database (LOVD) software. MitoLSDB houses information on all 37 genes in each population amounting to 132397 variants, 5147 unique variants. For each variant its genomic location as per the Revised Cambridge Reference Sequence, codon and amino acid change for variations in protein-coding regions, frequency, disease/phenotype, population, reference and remarks are also listed. MitoLSDB curators have also reported errors documented in literature which includes 94 phantom mutations, 10 NUMTs, six documentation errors and one artefactual recombination. MitoLSDB is the largest repository of mtDNA variants systematically standardized and presented using the LOVD platform. We believe that this is a good starting resource to curate mtDNA variants and will facilitate direct submissions enhancing data coverage, annotation in context of pathogenesis and quality control by ensuring non-redundancy in reporting novel disease associated variants.
PMCID: PMC3621970  PMID: 23585830
5.  Systematic Transcriptome Wide Analysis of lncRNA-miRNA Interactions 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e53823.
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a recently discovered class of non-protein coding RNAs, which have now increasingly been shown to be involved in a wide variety of biological processes as regulatory molecules. The functional role of many of the members of this class has been an enigma, except a few of them like Malat and HOTAIR. Little is known regarding the regulatory interactions between noncoding RNA classes. Recent reports have suggested that lncRNAs could potentially interact with other classes of non-coding RNAs including microRNAs (miRNAs) and modulate their regulatory role through interactions. We hypothesized that lncRNAs could participate as a layer of regulatory interactions with miRNAs. The availability of genome-scale datasets for Argonaute targets across human transcriptome has prompted us to reconstruct a genome-scale network of interactions between miRNAs and lncRNAs.
We used well characterized experimental Photoactivatable-Ribonucleoside-Enhanced Crosslinking and Immunoprecipitation (PAR-CLIP) datasets and the recent genome-wide annotations for lncRNAs in public domain to construct a comprehensive transcriptome-wide map of miRNA regulatory elements. Comparative analysis revealed that in addition to targeting protein-coding transcripts, miRNAs could also potentially target lncRNAs, thus participating in a novel layer of regulatory interactions between noncoding RNA classes. Furthermore, we have modeled one example of miRNA-lncRNA interaction using a zebrafish model. We have also found that the miRNA regulatory elements have a positional preference, clustering towards the mid regions and 3′ ends of the long noncoding transcripts. We also further reconstruct a genome-wide map of miRNA interactions with lncRNAs as well as messenger RNAs.
This analysis suggests widespread regulatory interactions between noncoding RNAs classes and suggests a novel functional role for lncRNAs. We also present the first transcriptome scale study on miRNA-lncRNA interactions and the first report of a genome-scale reconstruction of a noncoding RNA regulatory interactome involving lncRNAs.
PMCID: PMC3566149  PMID: 23405074
6.  Integrative transcriptome analysis suggest processing of a subset of long non-coding RNAs to small RNAs 
Biology Direct  2012;7:25.
The availability of sequencing technology has enabled understanding of transcriptomes through genome-wide approaches including RNA-sequencing. Contrary to the previous assumption that large tracts of the eukaryotic genomes are not transcriptionally active, recent evidence from transcriptome sequencing approaches have revealed pervasive transcription in many genomes of higher eukaryotes. Many of these loci encode transcripts that have no obvious protein-coding potential and are designated as non-coding RNA (ncRNA). Non-coding RNAs are classified empirically as small and long non-coding RNAs based on the size of the functional RNAs. Each of these classes is further classified into functional subclasses. Although microRNAs (miRNA), one of the major subclass of ncRNAs, have been extensively studied for their roles in regulation of gene expression and involvement in a large number of patho-physiological processes, the functions of a large proportion of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) still remains elusive. We hypothesized that some lncRNAs could potentially be processed to small RNA and thus could have a dual regulatory output.
Integration of large-scale independent experimental datasets in public domain revealed that certain well studied lncRNAs harbor small RNA clusters. Expression analysis of the small RNA clusters in different tissue and cell types reveal that they are differentially regulated suggesting a regulated biogenesis mechanism.
Our analysis suggests existence of a potentially novel pathway for lncRNA processing into small RNAs. Expression analysis, further suggests that this pathway is regulated. We argue that this evidence supports our hypothesis, though limitations of the datasets and analysis cannot completely rule out alternate possibilities. Further in-depth experimental verification of the observation could potentially reveal a novel pathway for biogenesis.
This article was reviewed by Dr Rory Johnson (nominated by Fyodor Kondrashov), Dr Raya Khanin (nominated by Dr Yuriy Gusev) and Prof Neil Smalheiser. For full reviews, please go to the Reviewer’s comment section.
PMCID: PMC3477000  PMID: 22871084

Results 1-6 (6)