Using the Gene Ontology to Annotate Key Players in Parkinson's Disease

Neuroinformatics. 2016 Jul;14(3):297-304. doi: 10.1007/s12021-015-9293-2.


The Gene Ontology (GO) is widely recognised as the gold standard bioinformatics resource for summarizing functional knowledge of gene products in a consistent and computable, information-rich language. GO describes cellular and organismal processes across all species, yet until now there has been a considerable gene annotation deficit within the neurological and immunological domains, both of which are relevant to Parkinson's disease. Here we introduce the Parkinson's disease GO Annotation Project, funded by Parkinson's UK and supported by the GO Consortium, which is addressing this deficit by providing GO annotation to Parkinson's-relevant human gene products, principally through expert literature curation. We discuss the steps taken to prioritise proteins, publications and cellular processes for annotation, examples of how GO annotations capture Parkinson's-relevant information, and the advantages that a topic-focused annotation approach offers to users. Building on the existing GO resource, this project collates a vast amount of Parkinson's-relevant literature into a set of high-quality annotations to be utilized by the research community.

Keywords: Annotation, database; Functional annotation; Gene ontology; High-throughput analysis; Parkinson’s disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Gene Ontology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation*
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics*