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Management and Analysis of Genomic Functional and Phenotypic Controlled Annotations to Support Biomedical Investigation and Practice

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1 Author(s)
Masseroli, M. ; Politecnico di Milano, Milan

The growing available genomic information provides new opportunities for novel research approaches and original biomedical applications that can provide effective data management and analysis support. In fact, integration and comprehensive evaluation of available controlled data can highlight information patterns leading to unveil new biomedical knowledge. Here, we describe Genome Function INtegrated Discover (GFINDer ), a Web-accessible three-tier multidatabase system we developed to automatically enrich lists of user-classified genes with several functional and phenotypic controlled annotations, and to statistically evaluate them in order to identify annotation categories significantly over- or underrepresented in each considered gene class. Genomic controlled annotations from Gene Ontology (GO), KEGG, Pfam, InterPro, and online mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) were integrated in GFINDer and several categorical tests were implemented for their analysis. A controlled vocabulary of inherited disorder phenotypes was obtained by normalizing and hierarchically structuring disease accompanying signs and symptoms from OMIM clinical synopsis sections. GFINDer modular architecture is well suited for further system expansion and for sustaining increasing workload. Testing results showed that GFINDer analyses can highlight gene functional and phenotypic characteristics and differences, demonstrating its value in supporting genomic biomedical approaches aiming at understanding the complex biomolecular mechanisms underlying patho-physiological phenotypes, and in helping the transfer of genomic results to medical practice.

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Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 4 )