Scientific article
Open access

Triage by ranking to support the curation of protein interactions

Published inDatabase, vol. 2017, bax040
Publication date2017

Today, molecular biology databases are the cornerstone of knowledge sharing for life and health sciences. The curation and maintenance of these resources are labour intensive. Although text mining is gaining impetus among curators, its integration in curation workflow has not yet been widely adopted. The Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics Text Mining and CALIPHO groups joined forces to design a new curation support system named nextA5. In this report, we explore the integration of novel triage services to support the curation of two types of biological data: protein–protein interactions (PPIs) and post-translational modifications (PTMs). The recognition of PPIs and PTMs poses a special challenge, as it not only requires the identification of biological entities (proteins or residues), but also that of particular relationships (e.g. binding or position). These relationships cannot be described with onto-terminological descriptors such as the Gene Ontology for molecular functions, which makes the triage task more challenging. Prioritizing papers for these tasks thus requires the development of different approaches. In this report, we propose a new method to prioritize articles containing information specific to PPIs and PTMs. The new resources (RESTful APIs, semantically annotated MEDLINE library) enrich the neXtA5 platform. We tuned the article prioritization model on a set of 100 proteins previously annotated by the CALIPHO group. The effectiveness of the triage service was tested with a dataset of 200 annotated proteins. We defined two sets of descriptors to support automatic triage: the first set to enrich for papers with PPI data, and the second for PTMs. All occurrences of these descriptors were marked-up in MEDLINE and indexed, thus constituting a semantically annotated version of MEDLINE. These annotations were then used to estimate the relevance of a particular article with respect to the chosen annotation type. This relevance score was combined with a local vector-space search engine to generate a ranked list of PMIDs. We also evaluated a query refinement strategy, which adds specific keywords (such as ‘binds' or ‘interacts') to the original query. Compared to PubMed, the search effectiveness of the nextA5 triage service is improved by 190% for the prioritization of papers with PPIs information and by 260% for papers with PTMs information. Combining advanced retrieval and query refinement strategies with automatically enriched MEDLINE contents is effective to improve triage in complex curation tasks such as the curation of protein PPIs and PTMs.

  • Computational Biology/methods
  • Data Curation/methods
  • Data Mining/methods
  • Databases, Protein
  • Protein Interaction Mapping/methods
  • User-Computer Interface
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
MOTTIN, Luc et al. Triage by ranking to support the curation of protein interactions. In: Database, 2017, vol. 2017, p. bax040. doi: 10.1093/database/bax040
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1758-0463

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