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Open Access Database

DDESC: Dragon database for exploration of sodium channels in human

Sunil Sagar, Mandeep Kaur, Adam Dawe, Sundararajan Vijayaraghava Seshadri, Alan Christoffels, Ulf Schaefer, Aleksandar Radovanovic and Vladimir B Bajic*

Author Affiliations

South African National Bioinformatics Institute, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag- X17, Modderdam Road, Bellville, Cape Town 7535, South Africa

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:622  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-622

Published: 20 December 2008

Abstract

Background

Sodium channels are heteromultimeric, integral membrane proteins that belong to a superfamily of ion channels. The mutations in genes encoding for sodium channel proteins have been linked with several inherited genetic disorders such as febrile epilepsy, Brugada syndrome, ventricular fibrillation, long QT syndrome, or channelopathy associated insensitivity to pain. In spite of these significant effects that sodium channel proteins/genes could have on human health, there is no publicly available resource focused on sodium channels that would support exploration of the sodium channel related information.

Results

We report here Dragon Database for Exploration of Sodium Channels in Human (DDESC), which provides comprehensive information related to sodium channels regarding different entities, such as "genes and proteins", "metabolites and enzymes", "toxins", "chemicals with pharmacological effects", "disease concepts", "human anatomy", "pathways and pathway reactions" and their potential links. DDESC is compiled based on text- and data-mining. It allows users to explore potential associations between different entities related to sodium channels in human, as well as to automatically generate novel hypotheses.

Conclusion

DDESC is first publicly available resource where the information related to sodium channels in human can be explored at different levels. This database is freely accessible for academic and non-profit users via the worldwide web http://apps.sanbi.ac.za/ddesc webcite.