Identification of "pathologs" (disease-related genes) from the RIKEN mouse cDNA dataset using human curation plus FACTS, a new biological information extraction system

Diego G. Silva, Christian Schönbach, Vladimir Brusic, Luis A. Socha, Takeshi Nagashima, Nikolai Petrovsky

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background. A major goal in the post-genomic era is to identify and characterise disease susceptibility genes and to apply this knowledge to disease prevention and treatment. Rodents and humans have remarkably similar genomes and share closely related biochemical, physiological and pathological pathways. In this work we utilised the latest information on the mouse transcriptome as revealed by the RIKEN FANTOM2 project to identify novel human disease-related candidate genes. We define a new term "patholog" to mean a homolog of a human disease-related gene encoding a product (transcript, anti-sense or protein) potentially relevant to disease. Rather than just focus on Mendelian inheritance, we applied the analysis to all potential pathologs regardless of their inheritance pattern. Results. Bioinformatic analysis and human curation of 60,770 RIKEN full-length mouse cDNA clones produced 2,578 sequences that showed similarity (70-85% identity) to known human-disease genes. Using a newly developed biological information extraction and annotation tool (FACTS) in parallel with human expert analysis of 17,051 MEDLINE scientific abstracts we identified 182 novel potential pathologs. Of these, 36 were identified by computational tools only, 49 by human expert analysis only and 97 by both methods. These pathologs were related to neoplastic (53%), hereditary (24%), immunological (5%), cardio-vascular (4%), or other (14%), disorders. Conclusions. Large scale genome projects continue to produce a vast amount of data with potential application to the study of human disease. For this potential to be realised we need intelligent strategies for data categorisation and the ability to link sequence data with relevant literature. This paper demonstrates the power of combining human expert annotation with FACTS, a newly developed bioinformatics tool, to identify novel pathologs from within large-scale mouse transcript datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalBMC Genomics
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioinformatics
  • Cancer
  • Disease gene
  • FANTOM database
  • Genomics
  • Hereditary disease
  • Human
  • Transcripts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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