Researchers at Harbin Medical University have developed DincRNA, a comprehensive web-based bioinformatics toolkit to elucidate the entangled relationships among diseases and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) from the perspective of disease similarity. The quantitative way to illustrate relationships of pair-wise diseases always depends on their molecular mechanisms, and structures of the directed acyclic graph of Disease Ontology (DO). Corresponding methods for calculating similarity of pair-wise diseases involve Resnik’s, Lin’s, Wang’s, PSB, and SemFunSim methods. Recently, disease similarity was validated suitable for calculating functional similarities of ncRNAs and prioritizing ncRNA-disease pairs, and it has been widely applied for predicting the ncRNA function due to the limited biological knowledge from wet lab experiments of these RNAs. For this purpose, a large number of algorithms and priori knowledge need to be integrated. e.g. ‘pair-wise best, pairs-average’ (PBPA) and ‘pair-wise all, pairs-maximum’ (PAPM) methods for calculating functional similarities of ncRNAs, and random walk with restart (RWR) method for prioritizing ncRNA-disease pairs. To facilitate the exploration of disease associations and ncRNA function, DincRNA implemented all of the above eight algorithms based on DO and disease-related genes. Currently, it provides the function to query disease similarity scores, miRNA and lncRNA functional similarity scores, and the prioritization scores of lncRNA-disease and miRNA-disease pairs.
System overview of DincRNA