VeryGene: Linking Tissue-specific Genes to Diseases, Drugs and Beyond for Knowledge Discovery

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Tissue-specific genes, VeryGene

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In addition to many other genes, tissue-specific genes (TSGs) represent a set of genes of great importance for human physiology. However, the links among TSGs, diseases, and potential therapeutic agents are often missing, hidden, or too scattered to find. There is a need to establish a knowledgebase for researchers to share this and additional information in order to speed up discovery and clinical practice. As an initiative toward systems biology, the VeryGene web server was developed to fill this gap. A significant effort has been made to integrate TSGs from two large-scale data analyses with respective information on subcellular localization, Gene Ontology, Reactome, KEGG pathway, Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI) Mammalian Phenotype, disease association, and targeting drugs. The current release carefully selected 3,960 annotated TSGs derived from 127 normal human tissues and cell types, including 5,672 gene-disease and 2,171 drug-target relationships. In addition to being a specialized source for TSGs, VeryGene can be used as a discovery tool by generating novel inferences. Some inherently useful but hidden relations among genes, diseases, drugs, and other important aspects can be inferred to form testable hypotheses. VeryGene is available online at http://www.verygene.com.

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Physiological Genomics, v. 43, no. 8, p. 457-460