UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


November 2015


Editor - Ruth Lovering

Biocurators at UCL

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Jess Buxton, who joins the Cardiovascular Gene Annotation team this month. Jess is an experienced molecular geneticist working on the role of telomere integrity in cardiometabolic disease. She will spend 3 months as a biocurator, using her expertise to annotate the proteins and RNAs involved in vertebrate telomere biology.

Gene annotation

We are very pleased to announce the release of 851 protein-protein interactions (PPI) related to telomere maintenance and protection. Nancy curated the interactions between the six telomeric shelterin proteins and a subset of ~300 proteins from ~12,000 proteins in the human hORFeome library v3.1 (Lamesch et al., 2007), with help and guidance from Pablo Porras at IntAct, European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). These additional interactions increase the number of the BHF-UCL PPIs in IntAct by 60% (from 1275 to 2126).

Based on the EBI statistics, 10th October 2015, this project has associated over 34,500 GO terms to 4,800 gene products, 23,820 of which are to 2,656 human gene products.

New look website

Our website has been given a facelift in the past couple of months. The whole functional annotation team got involved and we now have a consistent and clean look to our pages. Our website has lots of useful information, including information on the biocuration process, what our annotation priorities are and our list of publications. A new addition is a "News" column on the right-hand side of the home page, where we report our most interesting latest news. You can also keep up to date with our progress via the Gene Annotation Team's tweets, which are now displayed below the News section. From here you can also choose to "follow" us or tweet directly to us - we'd love to hear from you!

MSc student projects

Our two Master's students, Hadil and Klaus, have now completed their annotation projects with us. Hadil was curating folate-related proteins in relation to pregnancy and fetal development and she created a total of 298 annotations to 49 proteins. Klaus's focus was on curating proteins involved in hereditary hemochromatosis and he created a total of 294 annotations to 54 proteins. We are very grateful for their excellent contribution to the GO dataset and we are pleased to say that they both received Distinctions for their MSc. Degrees. We wish them all the best in their future careers.


Forthcoming meetings

Nancy will be assisting at an EBI Cytoscape training workshop in November, organized by IntAct. This will help us run our own Cytoscape course at UCL next year. Also in November, Rachael will be giving a short talk about miRNA curation at the 10th International Meeting on MicroRNAs, non-coding RNAs and Genome Editing in Cambridge. Then in December Rachael will present her progress on miRNA curation and guidelines at the RNAcentral Consortium Meeting at the EBI.

Meetings attended

Ruth and Rachael attended the GO Consortium meeting at the George Washington University in Washington DC in September. Ruth gave two talks, one announcing the new PSICQUIC GO annotations and one entitled "Strategies for independent funding of targeted curation projects". Rachael gave a talk on annotation extensions and also introduced the new miRNA curation guidelines.

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