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Dis Model Mech. 2016 Oct 1;9(10):1089-1095.

Exploring human disease using the Rat Genome Database.

Author information

1
Medical College of Wisconsin, Department of Surgery, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA shimoyama@mcw.edu.
2
Medical College of Wisconsin, Department of Surgery, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.
3
Medical College of Wisconsin, Department of Physiology, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.

Abstract

Rattus norvegicus, the laboratory rat, has been a crucial model for studies of the environmental and genetic factors associated with human diseases for over 150 years. It is the primary model organism for toxicology and pharmacology studies, and has features that make it the model of choice in many complex-disease studies. Since 1999, the Rat Genome Database (RGD; http://rgd.mcw.edu) has been the premier resource for genomic, genetic, phenotype and strain data for the laboratory rat. The primary role of RGD is to curate rat data and validate orthologous relationships with human and mouse genes, and make these data available for incorporation into other major databases such as NCBI, Ensembl and UniProt. RGD also provides official nomenclature for rat genes, quantitative trait loci, strains and genetic markers, as well as unique identifiers. The RGD team adds enormous value to these basic data elements through functional and disease annotations, the analysis and visual presentation of pathways, and the integration of phenotype measurement data for strains used as disease models. Because much of the rat research community focuses on understanding human diseases, RGD provides a number of datasets and software tools that allow users to easily explore and make disease-related connections among these datasets. RGD also provides comprehensive human and mouse data for comparative purposes, illustrating the value of the rat in translational research. This article introduces RGD and its suite of tools and datasets to researchers - within and beyond the rat community - who are particularly interested in leveraging rat-based insights to understand human diseases.

KEYWORDS:

Data analysis; Disease; Genomics; Online resource; Rat Genome Database

PMID:
27736745
PMCID:
PMC5087824
DOI:
10.1242/dmm.026021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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