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Open Access Database

Integrated olfactory receptor and microarray gene expression databases

Nian Liu12*, Chiquito J Crasto135 and Minghong Ma4

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Medical Informatics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

2 Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

3 Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

4 Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

5 Department of Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA

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BMC Bioinformatics 2007, 8:231  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-231

Published: 30 June 2007

Abstract

Background

Gene expression patterns of olfactory receptors (ORs) are an important component of the signal encoding mechanism in the olfactory system since they determine the interactions between odorant ligands and sensory neurons. We have developed the Olfactory Receptor Microarray Database (ORMD) to house OR gene expression data. ORMD is integrated with the Olfactory Receptor Database (ORDB), which is a key repository of OR gene information. Both databases aim to aid experimental research related to olfaction.

Description

ORMD is a Web-accessible database that provides a secure data repository for OR microarray experiments. It contains both publicly available and private data; accessing the latter requires authenticated login. The ORMD is designed to allow users to not only deposit gene expression data but also manage their projects/experiments. For example, contributors can choose whether to make their datasets public. For each experiment, users can download the raw data files and view and export the gene expression data. For each OR gene being probed in a microarray experiment, a hyperlink to that gene in ORDB provides access to genomic and proteomic information related to the corresponding olfactory receptor. Individual ORs archived in ORDB are also linked to ORMD, allowing users access to the related microarray gene expression data.

Conclusion

ORMD serves as a data repository and project management system. It facilitates the study of microarray experiments of gene expression in the olfactory system. In conjunction with ORDB, ORMD integrates gene expression data with the genomic and functional data of ORs, and is thus a useful resource for both olfactory researchers and the public.