Autoantibodies refer to antibodies that target self-antigens, which can play pivotal roles in maintaining homeostasis, distinguishing normal from tumor tissue and trigger autoimmune diseases. In the last three decades, tremendous efforts have been devoted to elucidate the generation, evolution and functions of autoantibodies, as well as their target autoantigens. However, reports of these countless previously identified autoantigens are randomly dispersed in the literature. Here, we constructed an AAgAtlas database 1.0 using text-mining and manual curation. We extracted 45 830 autoantigen-related abstracts and 94 313 sentences from PubMed using the keywords of either ‘autoantigen’ or ‘autoantibody’ or their lexical variants, which were further refined to 25 520 abstracts, 43 253 sentences and 3984 candidates by our bio-entity recognizer based on the Protein Ontology. Finally, we identified 1126 genes as human autoantigens and 1071 related human diseases, with which we constructed a human autoantigen database (AAgAtlas database 1.0). The database provides a user-friendly interface to conveniently browse, retrieve and download human autoantigens as well as their associated diseases. The database is freely accessible at http://biokb.ncpsb.org/aagatlas/. We believe this database will be a valuable resource to track and understand human autoantigens as well as to investigate their functions in basic and translational research.
Dan Wang, Liuhui Yang, Ping Zhang, Joshua LaBaer, Henning Hermjakob*, Dong Li* and Xiaobo Yu*. AAgAtlas 1.0: a human autoantigen database. Nucl. Acids Res. first published online October 19, 2016. doi:10.1093/nar/gkw946