Database The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation

Publisher: Oxford Journals (Firm), Oxford University Press


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    Journal of biological databases and curation
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    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
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    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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Oxford University Press

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Publications in this journal

  • Database The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation 01/2014; 2014:bau011.
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    ABSTRACT: With the overwhelming amount of biomedical textual information being produced, several manual curation efforts have been set up to extract and store concepts and their relationships into structured resources. As manual annotation is a demanding and expensive task, computerized solutions were developed to perform such tasks automatically. However, high-end information extraction techniques are still not widely used by biomedical research communities, mainly because of the lack of standards and limitations in usability. Interactive annotation tools intend to fill this gap, taking advantage of automatic techniques and existing knowledge bases to assist expert curators in their daily tasks. This article presents Egas, a web-based platform for biomedical text mining and assisted curation with highly usable interfaces for manual and automatic in-line annotation of concepts and relations. A comprehensive set of de facto standard knowledge bases are integrated and indexed to provide straightforward concept normalization features. Real-time collaboration and conversation functionalities allow discussing details of the annotation task as well as providing instant feedback of curator's interactions. Egas also provides interfaces for on-demand management of the annotation task settings and guidelines, and supports standard formats and literature services to import and export documents. By taking advantage of Egas, we participated in the BioCreative IV interactive annotation task, targeting the assisted identification of protein-protein interactions described in PubMed abstracts related to neuropathological disorders. When evaluated by expert curators, it obtained positive scores in terms of usability, reliability and performance. These results, together with the provided innovative features, place Egas as a state-of-the-art solution for fast and accurate curation of information, facilitating the task of creating and updating knowledge bases and annotated resources. Database URL:
    Database The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation 01/2014; 2014.
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    ABSTRACT: With the recent progress in complete genome sequencing, mining the increasing amount of genomic information available should in theory provide the means to discover new classes of peptides. However, annotation pipelines often do not consider small reading frames likely to be expressed. BactPepDB, available online at, is a database that aims at providing an exhaustive re-annotation of all complete prokaryotic genomes-chromosomal and plasmid DNA-available in RefSeq for coding sequences ranging between 10 and 80 amino acids. The identified peptides are classified as (i) previously identified in RefSeq, (ii) entity-overlapping (intragenic) or intergenic, and (iii) potential pseudogenes-intergenic sequences corresponding to a portion of a previously annotated larger gene. Additional information is related to homologs within order, predicted signal sequence, transmembrane segments, disulfide bonds, secondary structure, and the existence of a related 3D structure in the Protein Databank. As a result, BactPepDB provides insights about candidate peptides, and provides information about their conservation, together with some of their expected biological/structural features. The BactPepDB interface allows to search for candidate peptides in the database, or to search for peptides similar to a query, according to the multiple properties predicted or related to genomic localization. Database URL:
    Database The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation 01/2014; 2014.
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a nitrogenase gene sequence database that facilitates analysis of the evolution and ecology of nitrogen-fixing organisms. The database contains 32 954 aligned nitrogenase nifH sequences linked to phylogenetic trees and associated sequence metadata. The database includes 185 linked multigene entries including full-length nifH, nifD, nifK and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences. Evolutionary analyses enabled by the multigene entries support an ancient horizontal transfer of nitrogenase genes between Archaea and Bacteria and provide evidence that nifH has a different history of horizontal gene transfer from the nifDK enzyme core. Further analyses show that lineages in nitrogenase cluster I and cluster III have different rates of substitution within nifD, suggesting that nifD is under different selection pressure in these two lineages. Finally, we find that that the genetic divergence of nifH and 16S rRNA genes does not correlate well at sequence dissimilarity values used commonly to define microbial species, as stains having <3% sequence dissimilarity in their 16S rRNA genes can have up to 23% dissimilarity in nifH. The nifH database has a number of uses including phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses, the design and assessment of primers/probes and the evaluation of nitrogenase sequence diversity. Database URL:
    Database The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation 01/2014; 2014:bau001.
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    ABSTRACT: Using bioinformatics, putative cis-regulatory sequences can be easily identified using pattern recognition programs on promoters of specific gene sets. The abundance of predicted cis-sequences is a major challenge to associate these sequences with a possible function in gene expression regulation. To identify a possible function of the predicted cis-sequences, a novel web tool designated 'in silico expression analysis' was developed that correlates submitted cis-sequences with gene expression data from Arabidopsis thaliana. The web tool identifies the A. thaliana genes harbouring the sequence in a defined promoter region and compares the expression of these genes with microarray data. The result is a hierarchy of abiotic and biotic stress conditions to which these genes are most likely responsive. When testing the performance of the web tool, known cis-regulatory sequences were submitted to the 'in silico expression analysis' resulting in the correct identification of the associated stress conditions. When using a recently identified novel elicitor-responsive sequence, a WT-box (CGACTTTT), the 'in silico expression analysis' predicts that genes harbouring this sequence in their promoter are most likely Botrytis cinerea induced. Consistent with this prediction, the strongest induction of a reporter gene harbouring this sequence in the promoter is observed with B. cinerea in transgenic A. thaliana. Database URL:
    Database The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation 01/2014; 2014:bau030.
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    ABSTRACT: NCG 4.0 is the latest update of the Network of Cancer Genes, a web-based repository of systems-level properties of cancer genes. In its current version, the database collects information on 537 known (i.e. experimentally supported) and 1463 candidate (i.e. inferred using statistical methods) cancer genes. Candidate cancer genes derive from the manual revision of 67 original publications describing the mutational screening of 3460 human exomes and genomes in 23 different cancer types. For all 2000 cancer genes, duplicability, evolutionary origin, expression, functional annotation, interaction network with other human proteins and with microRNAs are reported. In addition to providing a substantial update of cancer-related information, NCG 4.0 also introduces two new features. The first is the annotation of possible false-positive cancer drivers, defined as candidate cancer genes inferred from large-scale screenings whose association with cancer is likely to be spurious. The second is the description of the systems-level properties of 64 human microRNAs that are causally involved in cancer progression (oncomiRs). Owing to the manual revision of all information, NCG 4.0 constitutes a complete and reliable resource on human coding and non-coding genes whose deregulation drives cancer onset and/or progression. NCG 4.0 can also be downloaded as a free application for Android smart phones. Database URL:
    Database The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation 01/2014; 2014:bau015.
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    ABSTRACT: As the number of clinical reports in the peer-reviewed medical literature keeps growing, there is an increasing need for online search tools to find and analyze publications on patients with similar clinical characteristics. This problem is especially critical and challenging for rare diseases, where publications of large series are scarce. Through an applied example, we illustrate how to automatically identify new relevant cases and semantically annotate the relevant literature about patient case reports to capture the phenotype of a rare disease named cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis.
    Database The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation 01/2014; 2014.
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    ABSTRACT: Whereas N-glycosylation is a posttranslational modification performed across evolution, the archaeal version of this protein-processing event presents a degree of diversity not seen in either bacteria or eukarya. Accordingly, archaeal N-glycosylation relies on a large number of enzymes that are often species-specific or restricted to a select group of species. As such, there is a need for an organized platform upon which amassing information about archaeal glycosylation (agl) genes can rest. Accordingly, the aglgenes database provides detailed descriptions of experimentally characterized archaeal N-glycosyation pathway components. For each agl gene, genomic information, supporting literature and relevant external links are provided at a functional intuitive web-interface designed for data browsing. Routine updates ensure that novel experimental information on genes and proteins contributing to archaeal N-glycosylation is incorporated into aglgenes in a timely manner. As such, aglgenes represents a specialized resource for sharing validated experimental information online, providing support for workers in the field of archaeal protein glycosylation. Database URL:
    Database The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation 01/2014; 2014.