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Curating the innate immunity interactome

David J Lynn1*, Calvin Chan2, Misbah Naseer2, Melissa Yau2, Raymond Lo3, Anastasia Sribnaia2, Giselle Ring2, Jaimmie Que2, Kathleen Wee2, Geoffrey L Winsor3, Matthew R Laird3, Karin Breuer3, Amir K Foroushani13, Fiona SL Brinkman3 and Robert EW Hancock2

Author Affiliations

1 Animal & Bioscience Research Department, AGRIC, Teagasc, Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath, Ireland

2 Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, 232 - 2259 Lower Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada

3 Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, 8888 University Drive, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada

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BMC Systems Biology 2010, 4:117  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-4-117

Published: 20 August 2010



The innate immune response is the first line of defence against invading pathogens and is regulated by complex signalling and transcriptional networks. Systems biology approaches promise to shed new light on the regulation of innate immunity through the analysis and modelling of these networks. A key initial step in this process is the contextual cataloguing of the components of this system and the molecular interactions that comprise these networks. InnateDB ( webcite) is a molecular interaction and pathway database developed to facilitate systems-level analyses of innate immunity.


Here, we describe the InnateDB curation project, which is manually annotating the human and mouse innate immunity interactome in rich contextual detail, and present our novel curation software system, which has been developed to ensure interactions are curated in a highly accurate and data-standards compliant manner. To date, over 13,000 interactions (protein, DNA and RNA) have been curated from the biomedical literature. Here, we present data, illustrating how InnateDB curation of the innate immunity interactome has greatly enhanced network and pathway annotation available for systems-level analysis and discuss the challenges that face such curation efforts. Significantly, we provide several lines of evidence that analysis of the innate immunity interactome has the potential to identify novel signalling, transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulators of innate immunity. Additionally, these analyses also provide insight into the cross-talk between innate immunity pathways and other biological processes, such as adaptive immunity, cancer and diabetes, and intriguingly, suggests links to other pathways, which as yet, have not been implicated in the innate immune response.


In summary, curation of the InnateDB interactome provides a wealth of information to enable systems-level analysis of innate immunity.