GO Annotation for the Cardiovascular System


The overall objective of the Cardiovascular GO Annotation Initiative is to provide a unique public resource for the cardiovascular community, both in the UK and internationally, by providing comprehensive functional annotation for genes implicated in heart development and cardiovascular processes and disease. High-throughput genomics and systems biology are particularly powerful tools for the investigation of multi-factorial phenotypes, such as cardiovascular disease. However, at the moment, systems biology approaches to dissect the human cardiovascular system are severely hampered by the lack of functional annotation of many of the key gene products likely to be involved. Consequently this initiative will support a concentrated effort to improve the manual annotation of genes involved in the cardiovascular system using the Gene Ontology (GO). The improved annotation of these genes will ensure that the investment in genome sequencing along with the accumulated knowledge of heart disease and cardiovascular processes can be exploited to the full, for the benefit of researchers seeking to alleviate cardiovascular diseases.

The Cardiovascular GO Annotation Initiative is a collaborative project between the UniProtKB-GOA group based at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and three research groups at University College London (UCL).

This project is supported by the British Heart Foundation.

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Plan Of Action

  1. We have created a feedback form for cardiovascular scientists and other interested parties to comment on existing GO annotation and guide our continuing GO annotation efforts. Using this form, a variety of information can be submitted to the GO curators; for example: missing experimentally established facts about particular genes involved in the cardiovascular system, that are not currently represented by GO annotation, or publications for curator review. In addition scientists can suggest genes for annotation using this feedback form, or simply sign up for our quarterly newsletter.
  2. We have prepared a list of over 4000 genes with association to cardiovascular processes. A description of how the Cardiovascular GO Annotation Initiative gene list was assembled is available on the GO wiki.
  3. We have started to annotate high priority genes from the cardiovascular relevant gene list in a systematic fashion. There is also documentation on how these genes will be annotated.
  4. We plan to hold a series of workshops to involve experimental scientists directly in the GO annotation process, to increase the quality and quantity of annotation for cardiovascular associated genes.

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How You Can Contribute

You can participate in this effort at many different levels.

  • We are particularly keen to recruit cardiovascular scientists to review our annotations. Information can be submitted to the curators either via the cardiovascular feedback page or by emailing GOAnnotation@ucl.ac.uk (the cardiovascular annotation team). Users can supply us with the PubMed identifier of a key experimental publication for curation or provide more detailed information or commentary, such as pointing out any experimental data that might be controversial (these may be discussed with our international scientific advisory panel). Information regarding genes in any species is welcome. We will review information on a timely basis, and notify users of how their contributions have resulted in GO annotations.
  • Use the UniProtKB-GOA User Survey to suggest proteins that you would like to see prioritized for manual annotation, to suggest references or GO terms to be included in the GO annotation or to join our expert panel to review a specified set of fully manually annotated proteins.

All contributions are appreciated.

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Data Dissemination

All cardiovascular-associated GO annotations generated from this project will be freely available via the Gene Ontology website, Ensembl, and UniProtKB databases, and by the databases of the species-specific projects. These annotations will, de facto, be incorporated into Entrez Gene by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

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Additional Information

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