Beyond its direct involvement in protein synthesis with mRNA, tRNA, and rRNA, RNA is now being appreciated for its significance in the overall metabolism and regulation of the cell. Comparative analysis has been very effective in the identification and characterization of RNA molecules, including the accurate prediction of their secondary structure. We are developing an integrative scalable data management and analysis system, the RNA Comparative Analysis Database (rCAD), implemented with SQL Server to support RNA comparative analysis. The platformagnostic database schema of rCAD captures the essential relationships between the different dimensions of information for RNA comparative analysis datasets. The rCAD implementation enables a variety of comparative analysis manipulations with multiple integrated data dimensions for advanced RNA comparative analysis workflows. In this paper, we describe details of the rCAD schema design and illustrate its usefulness with two usage scenarios.
Keywords: Bioinformatics; Biological Database; Database Schema; RNA Sequence Analysis.