Project title: Development of computational resources for the functional characterization and annotation of non-coding RNAs
Founding: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Gobierno de España.
Project summary: Next Generation Sequencing technologies and in particular RNA-seq has brought new information on genome organization. One of the most exciting discoveries of NGS is that a large proportion of the genome is transcribed into RNAs of an apparent lack of coding potential. The functional characterization of these non coding RNAs (ncRNAs) is still an open question. This project aims at the creation of bioinformatics resources for the functional annotation of long non coding RNAs We will use High Performance Computing approaches developed for NGS analysis in our Department to conduct a large scale computational analysis of RNA-seq datasets present in public respositories. Our strategy is to analyze co-expression patterns of lncRNAs with annotated coding genes, along a wide number of experimental conditions, to find strong correlation patterns between coding and non coding genes and use these , through appropriate algorithms, to identified functional categories which can be assigned to the so far uncharacterized genes. Additionally we will develop new modules for high-throughput annotation of ncRNAs within the Blast2GO annotation platform, to extend the annotation functionalities for the widely used bioinformatics resource. Finally, we will apply these tools to the functional characterization of an experimental dataset to verify the usability of the developed bioinformatics resources.