Extra-cellular RNAs (exRNAs) are emitted into the human bloodstream and other body fluids by different types of cells in the human body and may be uptaken by other cells. The exRNAs may also originate from edible plants and from microbes that inhabit the human body. The Extracellular RNA Communication Program (ERCP) will explore this newly discovered mechanism of communication in healthy individuals and in pathological conditions such as cancer. The Data Management Resource and Repository for the exRNA Atlas (DMRR) will integrate the efforts of the FRCP and serve as a community-wide resource for the development of the exRNA Atlas database. DMRR will consist of three components and an Administrative Core. The Data Coordination Component (DCC) will develop data and metadata standards, establish data flow into the exRNA Atlas database; develop tools for download, visualization and analysis of exRNA data; and integrate exRNA Atlas database with other relevant resources. The Scientific Outreach Component (SOC) will develop the exRNA Atlas Web Portal to disseminate and provide for visualization of the exRNA Atlas data; ensure accessibility of ERCP-generated resources; and initiate community engagement in exRNA biology using leading biological Wiki sites. In close coordination with the DCC, the SOC will engage the community through knowledge curation jamborees, scientific workshops and symposia. The Data Integration and Analysis Component (DIAC) will provide large-scale integrative and analytic support; evaluate tools and build pipelines to be hosted by DCC and used to populate the exRNA Atlas; build tools to be deployed and distributed by the DCC for use by other consortium participants and the wider scientific community for exRNA data; and lead consortium-wide advanced integrative analyses. Through these coordinated efforts of its DCC, SOC, and DIAC components, the DMRR will help organize the ERCP consortium and open opportunities for rapid progress in the nascent field of exRNA biology.

Public Health Relevance

Cells in different parts of the human body communicate over long distances through the nervous and endocrine systems. There is accumulating evidence about yet another such system of long-range intercellular communication involving RNA molecules. This project will examine this newly discovered system of communication and its role in human diseases. We will focus on the construction of an exRNA Atlas, a chart of extracellular RNA communication in the human body.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-GGG-T (52))
Program Officer
Satterlee, John S
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Baylor College of Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Putman, Tim E; Lelong, Sebastien; Burgstaller-Muehlbacher, Sebastian et al. (2017) WikiGenomes: an open web application for community consumption and curation of gene annotation data in Wikidata. Database (Oxford) 2017:
Putman, Tim E; Burgstaller-Muehlbacher, Sebastian; Waagmeester, Andra et al. (2016) Centralizing content and distributing labor: a community model for curating the very long tail of microbial genomes. Database (Oxford) 2016:
Harmanci, Arif; Gerstein, Mark (2016) Quantification of private information leakage from phenotype-genotype data: linking attacks. Nat Methods 13:251-6
Clarke, Declan; Sethi, Anurag; Li, Shantao et al. (2016) Identifying Allosteric Hotspots with Dynamics: Application to Inter- and Intra-species Conservation. Structure 24:826-837
Keerthikumar, Shivakumar; Chisanga, David; Ariyaratne, Dinuka et al. (2016) ExoCarta: A Web-Based Compendium of Exosomal Cargo. J Mol Biol 428:688-692
Yan, Koon-Kiu; Wang, Daifeng; Sethi, Anurag et al. (2016) Cross-Disciplinary Network Comparison: Matchmaking Between Hairballs. Cell Syst 2:147-157
Burgstaller-Muehlbacher, Sebastian; Waagmeester, Andra; Mitraka, Elvira et al. (2016) Wikidata as a semantic framework for the Gene Wiki initiative. Database (Oxford) 2016:
Cheung, Kei-Hoi; Keerthikumar, Shivakumar; Roncaglia, Paola et al. (2016) Extending gene ontology in the context of extracellular RNA and vesicle communication. J Biomed Semantics 7:19
Subramanian, Sai Lakshmi; Kitchen, Robert R; Alexander, Roger et al. (2015) Integration of extracellular RNA profiling data using metadata, biomedical ontologies and Linked Data technologies. J Extracell Vesicles 4:27497
Kawikova, Ivana; Askenase, Philip W (2015) Diagnostic and therapeutic potentials of exosomes in CNS diseases. Brain Res 1617:63-71

Showing the most recent 10 out of 14 publications