Annotation and visualization of endogenous retroviral sequences using the Distributed Annotation System (DAS) and eBioX.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) is a widely used network protocol for sharing biological information. The distributed aspects of the protocol enable the use of various reference and annotation servers for connecting biological sequence data to pertinent annotations in order to depict an integrated view of the data for the final user. RESULTS: An annotation server has been devised to provide information about the endogenous retroviruses detected and annotated by a specialized in silico tool called RetroTector. We describe the procedure to implement the DAS 1.5 protocol commands necessary for constructing the DAS annotation server. We use our server to exemplify those steps. Data distribution is kept separated from visualization which is carried out by eBioX, an easy to use open source program incorporating multiple bioinformatics utilities. Some well characterized endogenous retroviruses are shown in two different DAS clients. A rapid analysis of areas free from retroviral insertions could be facilitated by our annotations. CONCLUSION: The DAS protocol has shown to be advantageous in the distribution of endogenous retrovirus data. The distributed nature of the protocol is also found to aid in combining annotation and visualization along a genome in order to enhance the understanding of ERV contribution to its evolution. Reference and annotation servers are conjointly used by eBioX to provide visualization of ERV annotations as well as other data sources. Our DAS data source can be found in the central public DAS service repository, http://www.dasregistry.org, or at http://loka.bmc.uu.se/das/sources.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Currently, most genome annotation is curated by centralized groups with limited resources. Efforts to share annotations transparently among multiple groups have not yet been satisfactory. RESULTS:Here we introduce a concept called the Distributed Annotation System (DAS). DAS allows sequence annotations to be decentralized among multiple third-party annotators and integrated on an as-needed basis by client-side software. The communication between client and servers in DAS is defined by the DAS XML specification. Annotations are displayed in layers, one per server. Any client or server adhering to the DAS XML specification can participate in the system; we describe a simple prototype client and server example. CONCLUSIONS:The DAS specification is being used experimentally by Ensembl, WormBase, and the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project. Continued success will depend on the readiness of the research community to adopt DAS and provide annotations. All components are freely available from the project website http://www.biodas.org/.
Project description:MOTIVATION: The work presented here describes the 'anatomical Gene-Expression Mapping (aGEM)' Platform, a development conceived to integrate phenotypic information with the spatial and temporal distributions of genes expressed in the mouse. The aGEM Platform has been built by extending the Distributed Annotation System (DAS) protocol, which was originally designed to share genome annotations over the WWW. DAS is a client-server system in which a single client integrates information from multiple distributed servers. RESULTS: The aGEM Platform provides information to answer three main questions. (i) Which genes are expressed in a given mouse anatomical component? (ii) In which mouse anatomical structures are a given gene or set of genes expressed? And (iii) is there any correlation among these findings? Currently, this Platform includes several well-known mouse resources (EMAGE, GXD and GENSAT), hosting gene-expression data mostly obtained from in situ techniques together with a broad set of image-derived annotations. AVAILABILITY: The Platform is optimized for Firefox 3.0 and it is accessed through a friendly and intuitive display: http://agem.cnb.csic.es
Project description:BACKGROUND: Centralised resources such as GenBank and UniProt are perfect examples of the major international efforts that have been made to integrate and share biological information. However, additional data that adds value to these resources needs a simple and rapid route to public access. The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) provides an adequate environment to integrate genomic and proteomic information from multiple sources, making this information accessible to the community. DAS offers a way to distribute and access information but it does not provide domain experts with the mechanisms to participate in the curation process of the available biological entities and their annotations. RESULTS: We designed and developed a Collaborative Annotation System for proteins called DAS Writeback. DAS writeback is a protocol extension of DAS to provide the functionalities of adding, editing and deleting annotations. We implemented this new specification as extensions of both a DAS server and a DAS client. The architecture was designed with the involvement of the DAS community and it was improved after performing usability experiments emulating a real annotation task. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that DAS Writeback is effective, usable and will provide the appropriate environment for the creation and evolution of community protein annotation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) is a network protocol for exchanging biological data. It is frequently used to share annotations of genomes and protein sequence. RESULTS:Here we present several extensions to the current DAS 1.5 protocol. These provide new commands to share alignments, three dimensional molecular structure data, add the possibility for registration and discovery of DAS servers, and provide a convention how to provide different types of data plots. We present examples of web sites and applications that use the new extensions. We operate a public registry of DAS sources, which now includes entries for more than 250 distinct sources. CONCLUSION:Our DAS extensions are essential for the management of the growing number of services and exchange of diverse biological data sets. In addition the extensions allow new types of applications to be developed and scientific questions to be addressed. The registry of DAS sources is available at http://www.dasregistry.org.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) allows merging of DNA sequence annotations from multiple sources and provides a single annotation view. A straightforward way to establish a DAS annotation server is to use the "Lightweight DAS" server (LDAS). Onto this type of server, annotations can be uploaded as flat text files in a defined format. The popular Ensembl ContigView uses the same format for the transient upload and display of user data.<h4>Results</h4>In order to easily generate LDAS upload files we developed a software tool that is accessible via a web-interface http://atgc.lirmm.fr/eldasionator.html. Users can submit their DNA sequences of interest. Our program (i) aligns these sequences to the reference sequences of Ensembl, (ii) determines start and end positions of each sequence on the reference sequence, and (iii) generates a formatted annotation file. This file can be used to load any LDAS annotation server or it can be uploaded to the Ensembl ContigView.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The eL-DASionator is an on-line tool that is intended for life-science researchers with little bioinformatics background. It conveniently generates LDAS upload files, and makes it possible to generate annotations in a standard format that permits comfortable sharing of this data.
Project description:A large number of diverse, complex, and distributed data resources are currently available in the Bioinformatics domain. The pace of discovery and the diversity of information means that centralised reference databases like UniProt and Ensembl cannot integrate all potentially relevant information sources. From a user perspective however, centralised access to all relevant information concerning a specific query is essential. The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) defines a communication protocol to exchange annotations on genomic and protein sequences; this standardisation enables clients to retrieve data from a myriad of sources, thus offering centralised access to end-users.We introduce MyDas, a web server that facilitates the publishing of biological annotations according to the DAS specification. It deals with the common functionality requirements of making data available, while also providing an extension mechanism in order to implement the specifics of data store interaction. MyDas allows the user to define where the required information is located along with its structure, and is then responsible for the communication protocol details.
Project description:The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) is a protocol for easy sharing and integration of biological annotations. In order to visualize feature annotations in a genomic context a client is required. Here we present myKaryoView, a simple light-weight DAS tool for visualization of genomic annotation. myKaryoView has been specifically configured to help analyse data derived from personal genomics, although it can also be used as a generic genome browser visualization. Several well-known data sources are provided to facilitate comparison of known genes and normal variation regions. The navigation experience is enhanced by simultaneous rendering of different levels of detail across chromosomes. A simple interface is provided to allow searches for any SNP, gene or chromosomal region. User-defined DAS data sources may also be added when querying the system. We demonstrate myKaryoView capabilities for adding user-defined sources with a set of genetic profiles of family-related individuals downloaded directly from 23andMe. myKaryoView is a web tool for visualization of genomic data specifically designed for direct-to-consumer genomic data that uses publicly available data distributed throughout the Internet. It does not require data to be held locally and it is capable of rendering any feature as long as it conforms to DAS specifications. Configuration and addition of sources to myKaryoView can be done through the interface. Here we show a proof of principle of myKaryoView's ability to display personal genomics data with 23andMe genome data sources. The tool is available at: http://mykaryoview.com.
Project description:Ever increasing amounts of biological interaction data are being accumulated worldwide, but they are currently not readily accessible to the biologist at a single site. New techniques are required for retrieving, sharing and presenting data spread over the Internet.We introduce the DASMI system for the dynamic exchange, annotation and assessment of molecular interaction data. DASMI is based on the widely used Distributed Annotation System (DAS) and consists of a data exchange specification, web servers for providing the interaction data and clients for data integration and visualization. The decentralized architecture of DASMI affords the online retrieval of the most recent data from distributed sources and databases. DASMI can also be extended easily by adding new data sources and clients. We describe all DASMI components and demonstrate their use for protein and domain interactions.The DASMI tools are available at http://www.dasmi.de/ and http://ipfam.sanger.ac.uk/graph. The DAS registry and the DAS 1.53E specification is found at http://www.dasregistry.org/.
Project description:The integration between BioDAS ProServer and Automated Sequence Annotation Pipeline (ASAP) provides an interface for querying diverse annotation sources, chaining and linking results, and standardizing the output using the Distributed Annotation System (DAS) protocol. This interface allows pipeline plans in ASAP to be integrated into any system using HTTP and also allows the information returned by ASAP to be included in the DAS registry for use in any DAS-aware system. Three example implementations have been developed: the first accesses TRANSFAC information to automatically create gene sets for the Coordinated Gene Activity in Pattern Sets (CoGAPS) algorithm; the second integrates annotations from multiple array platforms and provides unified annotations in an R environment; and the third wraps the UniProt database for integration with the SPICE DAS client.Source code for ASAP 2.7 and the DAS 1.6 interface is available under the GNU public license. Proserver 2.20 is free software available from SourceForge. Scripts for installation and configuration on Linux are provided at our website: http://www.rits.onc.jhmi.edu/dbb/custom/A6/
Project description:Macromolecular visualization as well as automated structural and functional annotation tools play an increasingly important role in the post-genomic era, contributing significantly towards the understanding of molecular systems and processes. For example, three dimensional (3D) models help in exploring protein active sites and functional hot spots that can be targeted in drug design. Automated annotation and visualization pipelines can also reveal other functionally important attributes of macromolecules. These goals are dependent on the availability of advanced tools that integrate better the existing databases, annotation servers and other resources with state-of-the-art rendering programs.We present a new tool for protein structure analysis, with the focus on annotation and visualization of protein complexes, which is an extension of our previously developed POLYVIEW web server. By integrating the web technology with state-of-the-art software for macromolecular visualization, such as the PyMol program, POLYVIEW-3D enables combining versatile structural and functional annotations with a simple web-based interface for creating publication quality structure rendering, as well as animated images for Powerpoint, web sites and other electronic resources. The service is platform independent and no plug-ins are required. Several examples of how POLYVIEW-3D can be used for structural and functional analysis in the context of protein-protein interactions are presented to illustrate the available annotation options.POLYVIEW-3D server features the PyMol image rendering that provides detailed and high quality presentation of macromolecular structures, with an easy to use web-based interface. POLYVIEW-3D also provides a wide array of options for automated structural and functional analysis of proteins and their complexes. Thus, the POLYVIEW-3D server may become an important resource for researches and educators in the fields of protein science and structural bioinformatics. The new server is available at http://polyview.cchmc.org/polyview3d.html.