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A multilevel data integration resource for breast cancer study

Ettore Mosca*, Roberta Alfieri, Ivan Merelli, Federica Viti, Andrea Calabria and Luciano Milanesi*

Author Affiliations

Institute for Biomedical Technologies, National Research Council, Segrate (Milan), Italy

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BMC Systems Biology 2010, 4:76  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-4-76

Published: 3 June 2010

Abstract

Background

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancer types. Due to the complexity of this disease, it is important to face its study with an integrated and multilevel approach, from genes, transcripts and proteins to molecular networks, cell populations and tissues. According to the systems biology perspective, the biological functions arise from complex networks: in this context, concepts like molecular pathways, protein-protein interactions (PPIs), mathematical models and ontologies play an important role for dissecting such complexity.

Results

In this work we present the Genes-to-Systems Breast Cancer (G2SBC) Database, a resource which integrates data about genes, transcripts and proteins reported in literature as altered in breast cancer cells. Beside the data integration, we provide an ontology based query system and analysis tools related to intracellular pathways, PPIs, protein structure and systems modelling, in order to facilitate the study of breast cancer using a multilevel perspective. The resource is available at the URL http://www.itb.cnr.it/breastcancer webcite.

Conclusions

The G2SBC Database represents a systems biology oriented data integration approach devoted to breast cancer. By means of the analysis capabilities provided by the web interface, it is possible to overcome the limits of reductionist resources, enabling predictions that can lead to new experiments.