MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (approximately 22 nt) non-coding RNAs
that play an important role in the regulation of various biological
processes through their interaction with cellular messenger RNAs. They
are frequently dysregulated in cancer and have shown promise as tissue-based
markers for cancer classification and prognostication. Extracellular miRNAs
in serum, plasma, saliva, urine and other body fluids have recently been shown
to be associated with various pathological conditions including cancer. miRNAs
circulate in the bloodstream in a highly stable, extracellular form, thus they
may be used as blood-based biomarkers for cancer and other diseases.
miRandola is a comprehensive manually curated classification of different extracellular circulating non-coding RNAs types.
A direct link to the knowledge base miR˛ together with the inclusion of datamining facilities allow
users to infer possible biological functions of the circulating miRNAs and their connection
with the phenotype.
The first version of the miRandola database has been published in 2012 and it contained 89 papers, 2132 entries and
581 unique mature miRNAs. Now, we have updated the database with 271 papers, 2695 entries, 673 miRNAs and 12
long non-coding RNAs (see the News section).
The future direction of the database is to be a resource for all the potential non-invasive circulating nucleic acid
The exRNA Research Portal now provides a quick link to miRandola.
The Common Fund (National Institutes of Health, NIH) has developed a new program on Extracellular RNA Communication (ERC).
This program aims to discover fundamental biological principles about the mechanisms of exRNA generation, secretion, and
transport; to identify and develop a catalog of exRNA found in normal human body fluids; and to investigate the potential
for using exRNAs in the clinic as therapeutic molecules or biomarkers of disease.
For more information on this program, please see this NIH page on the
Extracellular RNA Communication Program
If you use miRandola please cite the following papers:
Francesco Russo, Sebastiano Di Bella, Giovanni Nigita, Valentina Macca, Alessandro LaganÓ,
Rosalba Giugno, Alfredo Pulvirenti, Alfredo Ferro.
miRandola: Extracellular Circulating microRNAs Database
PLoS ONE 2012, 7(10): e47786 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047786
Francesco Russo*, Sebastiano Di Bella*, Vincenzo Bonnici, Alessandro LaganÓ, Giuseppe Rainaldi, Marco Pellegrini, Alfredo Pulvirenti, Rosalba Giugno, Alfredo Ferro.
A knowledge base for the discovery of function, diagnostic potential and drug effects on cellular and extracellular miRNAs
BMC Genomics 2014, 15(Suppl 3):S4 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-S3-S4
Comments, questions? Contact Francesco Russo
or Sebastiano Di Bella