RNA-seq technology offers the promise of rapid comprehensive discovery of long intervening noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs). Basic tools such as Tophat and Cufflinks have been widely used for RNA-seq assembly. However, advanced bioinformatics methodologies that allow in-depth analysis of lincRNAs are lacking. Here, we describe a computational protocol that is especially designed for the identification of novel lincRNAs and the prediction of the function. The protocol mainly includes two open-access tools, CNCI and ncFANs. CNCI allows users to distinguish noncoding from protein-coding transcripts and to retrieve novel lincRNAs. ncFANs integrates expression profiles of protein-coding and lincRNA genes to construct coexpression networks. Such networks are subsequently used to perform function predictions of unknown lincRNAs. This protocol will allow users to apply these procedures without the need of additional training. All the tools in current protocol are available http://www.bioinfo.org/np/.
Keywords: computational method; function annotation; gene identification; network analysis; noncoding RNAs; transcriptom sequencing.
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