Background: For effective exposition of biological information, especially with regard to analysis of large-scale data types, researchers need immediate access to multiple categorical knowledge bases and need summary information presented to them on collections of genes, as opposed to the typical one gene at a time.
Results: We present here a web-based tool (FunSpec) for statistical evaluation of groups of genes and proteins (e.g. co-regulated genes, protein complexes, genetic interactors) with respect to existing annotations (e.g. functional roles, biochemical properties, localization). FunSpec is available online at http://funspec.med.utoronto.ca
Conclusion: FunSpec is helpful for interpretation of any data type that generates groups of related genes and proteins, such as gene expression clustering and protein complexes, and is useful for predictive methods employing "guilt-by-association."