DiseaseComps: a metric that discovers similar diseases based upon common toxicogenomic profiles at CTD

Bioinformation. 2011;7(4):154-6. doi: 10.6026/97320630007154. Epub 2011 Oct 14.


The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) is a free resource that describes chemical-gene-disease networks to help understand the effects of environmental exposures on human health. The database contains more than 13,500 chemical-disease and 14,200 gene-disease interactions. In CTD, chemicals and genes are associated with a disease via two types of relationships: as a biomarker or molecular mechanism for the disease (M-type) or as a real or putative therapy for the disease (T-type). We leveraged these curated datasets to compute similarity indices that can be used to produce lists of comparable diseases ("DiseaseComps") based upon shared toxicogenomic profiles. This new metric now classifies diseases with common molecular characteristics, instead of the traditional approach of using histology or tissue of origin to define the disorder. In the dawning era of "personalized medicine", this feature provides a new way to view and describe diseases and will help develop testable hypotheses about chemical-gene-disease networks.

Availability: The database is available for free at http://ctd.mdibl.org/

Keywords: chemical; curation; database; disease; gene.