UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


February 2015


Editor - Ruth Lovering

Biocurators at UCL

We are very pleased to welcome Hadil Alrohaif and Klaus Mitchell, UCL MSc students who joined the Cardiovascular Gene Annotation team last month. They have both chosen to undertake a 6-month annotation project with us. Hadil has a clinical background and is particularly interested in using GO to annotate proteins involved in folic acid metabolism, due to her interest in folate metabolism and pregnancy. Whereas Klaus is using GO to describe the proteins involved in hereditary hemochromatosis, with advice from Dr Ann Walker, who has undertaken research into this disease for over 15 years.

Gene annotation

Based on the EBI statistics,  3rd January 2015, this project has associated over 32,000 GO terms to 4,400 proteins, 22,210 of which are to 2,467 human proteins. In addition, we have submitted 1158 protein-protein interactions (PPIs) to IntAct, from the curation of 131 papers, which are now exported to public PPI databases.

Rachael is in the process of drawing up guidelines for functional annotation of microRNAs. These guidelines will be agreed in consultation with the GO Consortium and will provide a reference manual for any curator wishing to curate miRNAs using Gene Ontology. She is also annotating the human proteins that are responsible for miRNA processing, for example Dicer and Drosha, as currently these are not well represented in GO.

The BHF biocurator team has recently focused on annotation of proteins associated with cardiac conduction, with the annotation of the role of many of these proteins in cardiac conduction now completed. The annotation of this field has been undertaken by several different GO Consortium members and 143 GO terms have been created to improve the annotation of this research area. These new terms have now been used to annotate 284 human proteins, providing 792 GO annotations. Of these, 326 annotations (associated with 80 human proteins) were submitted by the BHF biocurators. In addition, 72 proteins were prioritised for annotation due to their known role in cardiac conduction, or their association with cardiac diseases, such as SCN5A, which is associated with several cardiac diseases, including long QT syndrome. There are now 5,484 GO annotations associated with these 72 human proteins, of which 2,032 are BHF supported.

Community engagement

Registration to our eighth 2-day Bioinformatics and GO Annotation Workshop (20-21 April 2015) is now open. This 2-day course provides hands-on training in the use of GO, as well as other bioinformatics resources, such as UniProt, Ensembl, Biomart, IntAct and Cytoscape. As always this workshop is freely available to all biological or biomedical Ph.D. and Post-Doc research scientists. Although, as this course is supported by the BHF, attendees working in a non-cardiovascular area will be asked for a donation to cover the cost of refreshments and printing of their copy of the workbook provided. If you wish to attend, please register online.

Upcoming meetings

In March, Ruth will be presenting a poster, in a poster discussion session, entitled: The Cardiovascular Gene Annotation Initiative: Impact on Data Analysis at the 83rd European Atherosclerosis Society Congress, in Glasgow.

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