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Database (Oxford). 2011 Mar 15;2011:bar004. doi: 10.1093/database/bar004. Print 2011.

Using computational predictions to improve literature-based Gene Ontology annotations: a feasibility study.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5120, USA.

Abstract

Annotation using Gene Ontology (GO) terms is one of the most important ways in which biological information about specific gene products can be expressed in a searchable, computable form that may be compared across genomes and organisms. Because literature-based GO annotations are often used to propagate functional predictions between related proteins, their accuracy is critically important. We present a strategy that employs a comparison of literature-based annotations with computational predictions to identify and prioritize genes whose annotations need review. Using this method, we show that comparison of manually assigned 'unknown' annotations in the Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD) with InterPro-based predictions can identify annotations that need to be updated. A survey of literature-based annotations and computational predictions made by the Gene Ontology Annotation (GOA) project at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) across several other databases shows that this comparison strategy could be used to maintain and improve the quality of GO annotations for other organisms besides yeast. The survey also shows that although GOA-assigned predictions are the most comprehensive source of functional information for many genomes, a large proportion of genes in a variety of different organisms entirely lack these predictions but do have manual annotations. This underscores the critical need for manually performed, literature-based curation to provide functional information about genes that are outside the scope of widely used computational methods. Thus, the combination of manual and computational methods is essential to provide the most accurate and complete functional annotation of a genome. Database URL: http://www.yeastgenome.org.

PMID:
21411447
PMCID:
PMC3067894
DOI:
10.1093/database/bar004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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