CTD curates 88K articles for drug-induced events

Understanding chemical toxicity is a common goal shared between environmental health scientists and pharmaceutical drug makers. Now, the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD, http://ctdbase.org/), which has historically focused on environmental chemicals, has completed a unique curation project coding therapeutic drug-induced disease and phenotype events from more than 88,000 articles published over the last seven decades. The results were recently reported in the journal Database (http://database.oxfordjournals.org/content/2013/bat080.full).

CTD artwork:logo

In the study, five CTD biocurators reviewed and manually curated 88,629 articles in just one year, coding information via controlled vocabularies for pharmaceutical compounds and their potential toxicity in cardiovascular, neurological, renal, and hepatic systems. Over 250,000 interactions were ultimately curated, linking 5,500 chemicals, 9,100 genes, 2,700 diseases, and 120 phenotypes. In the paper, CTD provided details about their curation strategy, performance metrics, and enhanced data content. As well, a new module for capturing chemical-phenotype data was introduced to curate drug-induced events at the molecular and cellular level before a disease developed.

One key finding was the discovery of 360 pharmaceutical drugs with overlapping adverse effects for four physiological systems-of-interest to drug makers resulting in cardiotoxicity, neurotoxicity, renal toxicity, and hepatotoxicity. Integrated into the CTD framework, these results are now combined with other datasets to make novel predictions and help generate testable hypotheses about drug-induced events.

The data are freely available from CTD. As well, the curation has been disseminated further into the scientific community via more than 55 other databases that routinely incorporate CTD’s annotations. If interested in establishing links to CTD data, please notify us (http://ctdbase.org/help/contact.go) and follow these instructions (http://ctdbase.org/help/linking.jsp).

Submitted by Allan Peter Davis.