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Mamm Genome. 2011 Feb;22(1-2):130-8. doi: 10.1007/s00335-010-9296-0. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Human and chicken TLR pathways: manual curation and computer-based orthology analysis.

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College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, St. John's University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY 11439, USA.


The innate immune responses mediated by Toll-like receptors (TLR) provide an evolutionarily well-conserved first line of defense against microbial pathogens. In the Reactome Knowledgebase we previously integrated annotations of human TLR molecular functions with those of over 4000 other human proteins involved in processes such as adaptive immunity, DNA replication, signaling, and intermediary metabolism, and have linked these annotations to external resources, including PubMed, UniProt, EntrezGene, Ensembl, and the Gene Ontology to generate a resource suitable for data mining, pathway analysis, and other systems biology approaches. We have now used a combination of manual expert curation and computer-based orthology analysis to generate a set of annotations for TLR molecular function in the chicken (Gallus gallus). Mammalian and avian lineages diverged approximately 300 million years ago, and the avian TLR repertoire consists of both orthologs and distinct new genes. The work described here centers on the molecular biology of TLR3, the host receptor that mediates responses to viral and other doubled-stranded polynucleotides, as a paradigm for our approach to integrated manual and computationally based annotation and data analysis. It tests the quality of computationally generated annotations projected from human onto other species and supports a systems biology approach to analysis of virus-activated signaling pathways and identification of clinically useful antiviral measures.

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