L Pantano,X Estivill,E Marti
High-throughput sequencing technologies enable direct approaches to catalog and analyze snapshots of the total small RNA content of living cells. Characterization of high-throughput sequencing data requires bioinformatic tools offering a wide perspective of the small RNA transcriptome. Here we present SeqBuster, a highly versatile and reliable web-based toolkit to process and analyze large-scale small RNA datasets. The high flexibility of this tool is illustrated by the multiple choices offered in the pre-analysis for mapping purposes and in the different analysis modules for data manipulation. To overcome the storage capacity limitations of the web-based tool, SeqBuster offers a stand-alone version that permits the annotation against any custom database. SeqBuster integrates multiple analyses modules in a unique platform and constitutes the first bioinformatic tool offering a deep characterization of miRNA variants (isomiRs). The application of SeqBuster to small-RNA datasets of human embryonic stem cells revealed that most miRNAs present different types of isomiRs, some of them being associated to stem cell differentiation. The exhaustive description of the isomiRs provided by SeqBuster could help to identify miRNA-variants that are relevant in physiological and pathological processes. SeqBuster is available at http://estivilllab.crg.es/seqbuster.