WG 1

Working Group Description

Number WG1
Title Molecular entities of exRNA communication across diverse biological systems
Leader Kriton Kalantidis (KK)
Rationale & Objectives
The vast majority of publications on exRNAs have focused on human body fluids, with little functional data or perspective on mechanisms of exRNA communication. Besides this obvious bias towards biological system and research interest, inter-comparability of existing exRNA data is often difficult due to lack of proper data annotation. In order to gain knowledge in exRNA communication biology, WG1 will coordinate networking of researchers and stakeholders dealing with exRNA communication in diverse biological systems and disciplines to build expertise and to initiate joint efforts in order to achieve common goals in exRNA-PATH (C-SOB1). The aim is to align major research questions and approaches regarding exRNA communication with a focus on parasitism and symbiosis, and to identify obstacles and gaps in knowledge to these target interactions (R-SOB1). Such approaches will identify the entities and properties of exRNAs and RNA carriers that are functional in organismal communication.
Tasks & Activities
·     Recruit new members to the exRNA-PATH network to fill gaps identified in expertise/stakeholder engagement.
·     Run a wiki instance on the exRNA-PATH website to exchange ideas of common research questions and approaches, run a cloud/server platform to exchange large data files and to collect/archive/secure bioinformatics data of exRNAs representing diverse biological systems of interaction.
·     Evaluate critical variables and define shared standards to be considered for comparative meta- data analyses; for example, standardization of purification analyses of exRNAs and EVs, shared bioinformatics tools, common settings of data computation, develop guidelines on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs) and Data Quality Management (DQM) in terms of data curation and data sharing to allow integrative data analysis.
·     Organise 2 WG meetings per year (online or in-person), 1 mid-term review, 1 training workshop on NGS data analysis and integrated data management, as well as 2 STSMs/year.
Execution & Membership
·     Investigators working in model organisms across kingdoms (plants, animals, fungi & microbes) from host-pathogen to symbiotic interactions.
·     Molecular biologists, RNA biologists and biochemists, computer scientists, data analysts and bioinformaticians.
·     WG1 will collaborate with WG2 to decide on candidate exRNAs for functional and mechanistic analyses, with WG2 and WG3 to decide on interfering strategies, and with WG4 to coordinate communication and dissemination with the stakeholders and the open public.
Milestones (M) & Deliverables (D)
M1 Release an instance on the exRNA-PATH webpage to share data and guidelines for meta data analysis.
M2 The mid-term review to map progress of WG1.
D1 Release digitalized data collection on exRNAs and RNA carriers across diverse biological systems accessible to all exRNA-PATH members.
D2 Publish guidelines papers on SOPs, GLPs, DQM.
D3 Joint publication with all WGs: reports on data resources, analysis guidelines, original case- studies and reviews in open access journals.