Allergic responses are not simple.
They involve networks of complex molecular interactions impacted
by various environmental stimuli and the genetics of the
individual. To truly understand such a complex response, one
must examine it also as a system - not just its parts. Systems
biology and associated bioinformatics analyses aim to more
holistically study such responses, gaining insights not possible
through more reductionist approaches. To do this, we require a
catalogue of components of the system and how they interact
i.e., consolidation and detailed annotation of molecular
interaction networks and pathways relevant to allergy. This
first version of the Allergy and Asthma Portal (AAP) integrates
such data from both the literature and AllerGen researchers,
providing an analysis platform for more sophisticated
investigations of the allergy response. The AAP is built upon
our previously developed InnateDB resource which has been used
successfully to gain fundamental new insights into immune
responses, leading to new immune-modulating therapeutics.
InnateDB is also part of the IMEx consortium, an international
collaboration between a group of major public interaction data
providers who have agreed to share curation efforts. The
collected, networked data for this effort will form a base for
future data integration efforts. AllerGen researchers (and later
other researchers) will be able to use this web-accessible
resource, allowing them to gain new understanding of allergic
responses, and identify new biomarkers and therapeutic targets,
using a more systems-based approach.
AAP is being developed jointly by the Brinkman Laboratory, Simon Fraser University, Canada,
and the Lynn EMBL Australia Group, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute and Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.
Funding is provided by AllerGen.