Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guilt by association? Using the FlyAtlas 2 "Profile" feature. Recent report and database update.

This recent report describes updates to the FlyAtlas database of gene expression, including the new web interface FlyAtlas 2.

Robinson SW, Herzyk P, Dow JA, Leader DP. FlyAtlas: database of gene expression in the tissues of Drosophila melanogaster. Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Nov 29. PubMed PMID: 23203866.

Example results from the FlyAtlas 2 "Profile" Search Tool
The new "Profile" feature might help researchers develop new hypotheses regarding gene function based on the functions of genes with similar expression profiles. To create an example, I picked more or less at random from past posts. I chose the gene Prestin, which is related to kidney stones or nephrolithiasis (view the original post here). A single gene match comes up in this case, CG42365, a gene with unknown function that does not appear to have been evolutionarily conserved. I have searched with a handful of gene names. For most genes I searched, the results came back with between ten and a hundred or so genes with similar profiles to that of my entry gene. If you are trying to understand a human disease gene ortholog, searching at FlyAtlas Profiles might be one of many searches that could help in study design and interpretation.

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