Background: Genetic investigations, boosted by modern sequencing techniques, allow dissecting the genetic component of different phenotypic traits. These efforts result in the compilation of lists of genes related to diseases and show that an increasing number of diseases is associated with multiple genes. Investigating functional relations among genes associated with the same disease contributes to highlighting molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis.
Results: We present eDGAR, a database collecting and organizing the data on gene/disease associations as derived from OMIM, Humsavar and ClinVar. For each disease-associated gene, eDGAR collects information on its annotation. Specifically, for lists of genes, eDGAR provides information on: i) interactions retrieved from PDB, BIOGRID and STRING; ii) co-occurrence in stable and functional structural complexes; iii) shared Gene Ontology annotations; iv) shared KEGG and REACTOME pathways; v) enriched functional annotations computed with NET-GE; vi) regulatory interactions derived from TRRUST; vii) localization on chromosomes and/or co-localisation in neighboring loci. The present release of eDGAR includes 2672 diseases, related to 3658 different genes, for a total number of 5729 gene-disease associations. 71% of the genes are linked to 621 multigenic diseases and eDGAR highlights their common GO terms, KEGG/REACTOME pathways, physical and regulatory interactions. eDGAR includes a network based enrichment method for detecting statistically significant functional terms associated to groups of genes.
Conclusions: eDGAR offers a resource to analyze disease-gene associations. In multigenic diseases genes can share physical interactions and/or co-occurrence in the same functional processes. eDGAR is freely available at: edgar.biocomp.unibo.it.
Keywords: Functional enrichment; Gene/disease relationship; Protein functional annotation; Protein-protein interaction.