Open Access Database

Autworks: a cross-disease network biology application for Autism and related disorders

Tristan H Nelson12, Jae-Yoon Jung1, Todd F DeLuca1, Byron K Hinebaugh1, Kristian Che St Gabriel1 and Dennis P Wall12*

Author Affiliations

1 The Center for Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

2 Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02115, USA

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BMC Medical Genomics 2012, 5:56  doi:10.1186/1755-8794-5-56

Published: 28 November 2012

Abstract

Background

The genetic etiology of autism is heterogeneous. Multiple disorders share genotypic and phenotypic traits with autism. Network based cross-disorder analysis can aid in the understanding and characterization of the molecular pathology of autism, but there are few tools that enable us to conduct cross-disorder analysis and to visualize the results.

Description

We have designed Autworks as a web portal to bring together gene interaction and gene-disease association data on autism to enable network construction, visualization, network comparisons with numerous other related neurological conditions and disorders. Users may examine the structure of gene interactions within a set of disorder-associated genes, compare networks of disorder/disease genes with those of other disorders/diseases, and upload their own sets for comparative analysis.

Conclusions

Autworks is a web application that provides an easy-to-use resource for researchers of varied backgrounds to analyze the autism gene network structure within and between disorders.

Availability: http://autworks.hms.harvard.edu/ webcite

Keywords:
Autism; Autistic disorder; Autism spectrum disorders; Autism genetics; Autism genomics; Network biology; Network medicine; Translational bioinformatics; Protein-protein interactions