A semi-automated methodology for finding lipid-related GO terms

Database (Oxford). 2014 Sep 10;2014:bau089. doi: 10.1093/database/bau089. Print 2014.


Motivation: Although semantic similarity in Gene Ontology (GO) and other approaches may be used to find similar GO terms, there is yet a method to systematically find a class of GO terms sharing a common property with high accuracy (e.g., involving human curation).

Results: We have developed a methodology to address this issue and applied it to identify lipid-related GO terms, owing to the important and varied roles of lipids in many biological processes. Our methodology finds lipid-related GO terms in a semi-automated manner, requiring only moderate manual curation. We first obtain a list of lipid-related gold-standard GO terms by keyword search and manual curation. Then, based on the hypothesis that co-annotated GO terms share similar properties, we develop a machine learning method that expands the list of lipid-related terms from the gold standard. Those terms predicted most likely to be lipid related are examined by a human curator following specific curation rules to confirm the class labels. The structure of GO is also exploited to help reduce the curation effort. The prediction and curation cycle is repeated until no further lipid-related term is found. Our approach has covered a high proportion, if not all, of lipid-related terms with relatively high efficiency.

Database url: http://compbio.ddns.comp.nus.edu.sg/∼lipidgo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Data Curation / methods*
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Gene Ontology*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Lipids* / chemistry
  • Lipids* / classification
  • Software


  • Lipids