Tag Archives: SMART

Video Tip of the Week: eggNOG for the holidays (or to explore orthologous genes)

ResearchBlogging.org Who can resist a nice cup of eggnog for the holidays (especially with added brandy). I know I can’t. I make my grandpa’s recipe every December and, considering it uses tons of sugar, eggs, heavy cream and alcohol and that 1/2 & 1/2 is the lightest ingredient, only December.

Oh, that’s not what this tip is about, it’s about database of orthologous groups of genes, eggNOG. We’ve mentioned eggNOG before several times, but only in passing or in relation (orthologous? :D) to another database or tool. Today, in perfect timing for the season, thought I’d do a quick tip to introduce eggNOG.

eggNOG is brought to you by the same research group that developed a lot of other excellent tools such as SMART (protein domains), STRING (protein-protein interactions, STITCH (protein-chemical interactions) , iTOL and so much more. Of course they do some fascinating research too.

eggNOG is a relatively straightforward database to use, but it has a wealth of information you might want to check out. As the recent paper in NAR states:

Orthologous relationships form the basis of most comparative genomic and metagenomic studies and are essential for proper phylogenetic and functional analyses…. Orthology, defined as homology via speciation, is a crucial concept in evolutionary biology and is essential for disciplines such as comparative genomics, metagenomics and phylogenomics. The concepts of orthology and paralogy, with the latter being defined as homology via duplication, have been used as a foundation to introduce the concept of clusters of orthologous groups: proteins that have evolved from a single ancestral sequence existing in the last common ancestor (LCA) of the species that are being compared, through a series of speciation and duplication events. Orthologous groups (OGs) have proven useful for functional analyses and the annotation of newly sequenced genomes  as orthologs tend to have equivalent functions.

eggNOG contains:

721 801 orthologous groups, encompassing a total of 4 396 591 genes…. from 1133 species.

For more about orthologous groups, methods used and pros and cons of methodology, you might want to check out the paper referenced below. They’ve included several informative and helpful reviews and references.

Right now, take a quick tour of what eggNOG can offer.

Quick Links:
STRING tutorial
SMART tutorial
Tip of the Week: iTOL

Powell, S., Szklarczyk, D., Trachana, K., Roth, A., Kuhn, M., Muller, J., Arnold, R., Rattei, T., Letunic, I., Doerks, T., Jensen, L., von Mering, C., & Bork, P. (2011). eggNOG v3.0: orthologous groups covering 1133 organisms at 41 different taxonomic ranges Nucleic Acids Research DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkr1060

NAR database issue (always a treasure trove)

The advance access release of most of the  NAR database issue articles is out. As usual, this this database issue includes a wealth of new and updated data repositories and analysis tools. We’ll be writing up additional more extensive blog posts on it and doing some tips of the week over the next couple months, but I thought I’d highlight the issue and some of the reports:

There are a lot of updates to many of the databases we know and love (links to go full text article): UCSC Genome Browser, Ensembl, UniProt, MINT, SMART, WormBase, Gene Ontology,  ENCODE, KEGG, UCSC Archaeal Browser, IMG/M, DBTSS, InterPro and others (we have tutorials on all those listed here).

And, as an indication of the explosion of data available (itself a subject of a database issue article, SRA), there are a lot of new(ish) databases on specific datatypes such as MINAS, a database of metal ions in nucleic acids (nice name :D); doRiNA, a database of RNA interactions in post-transcriptional regulation; BitterDB, a database of bitter compounds and well over 100 more.

And I’ll give a special shout out to my former PI at EMBL because I can, Peer Bork’s group has 4 databases listed in the issue: eggNOG, SMART, STITCH and OGEE. (and he and a couple members are on the InterPro paper also).

This is going to be a wealth of information to wade through!

UCSC Genome Browser: http://genome.ucsc.edu
Ensembl: http://www.ensembl.org/
UniProt: http://www.uniprot.org/
MINT: http://mint.bio.uniroma2.it/mint/
SMART: http://smart.embl.de/
WormBase: http://www.wormbase.org/
Gene Ontology: http://www.geneontology.org/
ENCODE: http://genome.ucsc.edu/ENCODE/
KEGG: http://www.kegg.jp
UCSC Archaeal Brower: http://archaea.ucsc.edu/
IMG: http://img.jgi.doe.gov/cgi-bin/w/main.cgi
DBTSS: http://dbtss.hgc.jp/
InterPro: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro




Peer Bork wins 2009 award

Royal Society and Académie des sciences Microsoft Award was won by Peer Bork this year. The award is funded by Microsoft (250,000 euro) and is given to

recognise and reward scientists working in Europe who have made a major contribution to the advancement of science through the use of computational methods.

It was awarded to Peer Bork for his work on the human microbiome. Peer definitely deserves it, as does his lab.The science and scientists that come from the Bork group are stellar. Ok, so I have a personal interest in this: I worked in his lab for 4 years, from 1999-2003. It was one of the best experiences (science and personal) of my life. Also, BioByte Solutions, started by a Bork lab researcher, has helped put together our new free database and resource search (which we’ll be introducing next week).

Congratulations Peer! Now, what is he going to do with that 368,000 dollars?!

And let me use this opportunity to point out some of the great tools and databases developed by the Bork group:
STRINGAnalysis of known and predicted protein-protein interactions in all known genomes (OpenHelix Tutorial, by subscription)
STITCHDatabase of known and predicted interactions of chemicals and proteins.
SMARTDomain analysis (OpenHelix Tutorial, by subscription)
iTOLan online tool for the display and manipulation of phylogenetic trees.
XplorMedDataming in MedLine (OpenHelix Tutorial, by subscription)

And a whole lot more

Tip of the week: SMART protein domain analysis

We find that many people are interested in learning more about the domains in their proteins of interest. A great tool to use to examine the domains, their architecture/organization, and their relationships is SMART, the Simple Modular Architecture Research Tool. It is developed and maintained by the Bork lab at EMBL (a source of many great tools). This appetizer movie may get you interested in examining your proteins of interest with the SMART analysis. We show you how to find hundreds of proteins with “transmembrane receptor” domains in about 3 minutes.

We have a complete tutorial on SMART that presents the information in much more detail.

New Tutorial Suite on SMART (protein domain analysis)

Comprehensive Tutorial on the SMART Bioinformatics Resource enables researchers to quickly and effectively use invaluable resource.

January 11, 2008 (Seattle WA) OpenHelix today announced the availability of a tutorial suite on the SMART bioinformatics resource (http://smart.embl-heidelberg.de/). SMART, created by the Bork Lab at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), contains information on hundreds of domains, and provides extensive annotations, phylogenetic analyses, and links to relevant resources about the domains.The tutorial suite, available for single purchase or through a low-priced yearly subscription to all OpenHelix tutorials, contains a narrated, self-run, online tutorial, slides, handouts and exercises. With the tutorial, researchers can quickly learn to effectively use this resource that helps them understand the evolution of function within multi-domain proteins. SMART brings together several functions that a researcher would otherwise have to perform separately.The tutorial will teach users to:

  • perform various text and sequence searches
  • find proteins based on their domain architecture
  • browse for key information about the evolutionary history and relationships of domains of interest to your researchTo find out more about this and other tutorial suites visit www.openhelix.com.

About OpenHelix
OpenHelix, LLC, (www.openhelix.com) provides the genomics knowledge you need when you need it. OpenHelix currently provides online self-run tutorials and on-site training for institutions and companies on the most powerful and popular free, web based, publicly accessible bioinformatics resources. In addition, OpenHelix is contracted by resource providers to provide comprehensive, long-term training and outreach programs.