b2bTools: online predictions for protein biophysical features and their conservation


B2bTools provide integrated protein sequence-based predictions via https://bio2byte.be/b2btools/. The aim of predictions is to identify the biophysical behaviour or features of proteins that are not readily captured by structural biology and/or molecular dynamics approaches. Upload of a FASTA file or text input of a sequence provides integrated predictions from DynaMine backbone and side-chain dynamics, conformational propensities, and derived EFoldMine early folding, DisoMine disorder, and Agmata beta-sheet aggregation. These predictions, several of which were previously not available online, capture ’emergent’ properties of proteins, i.e. the inherent biophysical propensities encoded in their sequence, rather than context-dependent behaviour (e.g. final folded state). Online visualisation is available as interactive plots, with brief explanations and tutorial pages included.

DrugComb update: a more comprehensive drug sensitivity data repository and analysis portal


Combinatorial therapies that target multiple pathways have shown great promises for treating complex diseases. DrugComb (https://drugcomb.org/) is a web-based portal for the deposition and analysis of drug combination screening datasets. Since its first release, DrugComb has received continuous updates on the coverage of data resources, as well as on the functionality of the web server to improve the analysis, visualization and interpretation of drug combination screens. Here, we report significant updates of DrugComb, including: (i) manual curation and harmonization of more comprehensive drug combination and monotherapy screening data, not only for cancers but also for other diseases such as malaria and COVID-19; (ii) enhanced algorithms for assessing the sensitivity and synergy of drug combinations; (iii) network modelling tools to visualize the mechanisms of action of drugs or drug combinations for a given cancer sample and (iv) state-of-the-art machine learning models to predict drug combination sensitivity and synergy. These improvements have been provided with more user-friendly graphical interface and faster database infrastructure, which make DrugComb the most comprehensive web-based resources for the study of drug sensitivities for multiple diseases.

GEPIA2021: integrating multiple deconvolution-based analysis into GEPIA


GEPIA (Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis) webserver facilitates the widely used analyses based on the bulk gene expression datasets in the TCGA and the GTEx projects, providing the biologists and clinicians with a handy tool to perform comprehensive and complex data mining tasks. Recently, the deconvolution tools have led to revolutionary trends to resolve bulk RNA datasets at cell type-level resolution, interrogating the characteristics of different cell types in cancer and controlled cohorts became an important strategy to investigate the biological questions. Thus, GEPIA2021, a standalone extension of GEPIA, allowing users to perform multiple interactive analysis based on the deconvolution results, including cell type-level proportion comparison, correlation analysis, differential expression, and survival analysis. With GEPIA2021, experimental biologists could easily explore the large TCGA and GTEx datasets and validate their hypotheses in an enhanced resolution. GEPIA2021 is publicly accessible at http://gepia2021.cancer-pku.cn/.

ProLint: a web-based framework for the automated data analysis and visualization of lipid-protein interactions


The functional activity of membrane proteins is carried out in a complex lipid environment. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that lipids are an important player in regulating or generally modulating their activity. A routinely used method to gain insight into this interplay between lipids and proteins are Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations, since they allow us to study interactions at atomic or near-atomic detail as a function of time. A major bottleneck, however, is analyzing and visualizing lipid-protein interactions, which, in practice, is a time-demanding task. ProLint (www.prolint.ca), is a webserver that completely automates analysis of MD generated files and visualization of lipid-protein interactions. Analysis is modular allowing users to select their preferred method, and visualization is entirely interactive through custom built applications that enable a detailed qualitative and quantitative exploration of lipid-protein interactions. ProLint also includes a database of published MD results that have been processed through the ProLint workflow and can be visualized by anyone regardless of their level of experience with MD. The automated analysis, feature-rich visualization, database integration, and open-source distribution with an easy to install process, will allow ProLint to become a routine workflow in lipid-protein interaction studies.

CNVxplorer: a web tool to assist clinical interpretation of CNVs in rare disease patients


Copy Number Variants (CNVs) are an important cause of rare diseases. Array-based Comparative Genomic Hybridization tests yield a similar to 12% diagnostic rate, with similar to 8% of patients presenting CNVs of unknown significance. CNVs interpretation is particularly challenging on genomic regions outside of those overlapping with previously reported structural variants or disease-associated genes. Recent studies showed that a more comprehensive evaluation of CNV features, leveraging both coding and non-coding impacts, can significantly improve diagnostic rates. However, currently available CNV interpretation tools are mostly gene-centric or provide only non-interactive annotations difficult to assess in the clinical practice. Here, we present CNVxplorer, a web server suited for the functional assessment of CNVs in a clinical diagnostic setting. CNVxplorer mines a comprehensive set of clinical, genomic, and epigenomic features associated with CNVs. It provides sequence constraint metrics, impact on regulatory elements and topologically associating domains, as well as expression patterns. Analyses offered cover (a) agreement with patient phenotypes; (b) visualizations of associations among genes, regulatory elements and transcription factors; (c) enrichment on functional and pathway annotations and (d) co-occurrence of terms across PubMed publications related to the query CNVs. A flexible evaluation workflow allows dynamic re-interrogation in clinical sessions. CNVxplorer is publicly available at http://cnvxplorer.com.

snpXplorer: a web application to explore human SNP-associations and annotate SNP-sets


Genetic association studies are frequently used to study the genetic basis of numerous human phenotypes. However, the rapid interrogation of how well a certain genomic region associates across traits as well as the interpretation of genetic associations is often complex and requires the integration of multiple sources of annotation, which involves advanced bioinformatic skills. We developed snpXplorer, an easy-to-use web-server application for exploring Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) association statistics and to functionally annotate sets of SNPs. snpXplorer can superimpose association statistics from multiple studies, and displays regional information including SNP associations, structural variations, recombination rates, eQTL, linkage disequilibrium patterns, genes and gene-expressions per tissue. By overlaying multiple GWAS studies, snpXplorer can be used to compare levels of association across different traits, which may help the interpretation of variant consequences. Given a list of SNPs, snpXplorer can also be used to perform variant-to-gene mapping and gene-set enrichment analysis to identify molecular pathways that are overrepresented in the list of input SNPs. snpXplorer is freely available at https://snpxplorer.net. Source code, documentation, example files and tutorial videos are available within the Help section of snpXplorer and at https://github.com/TesiNicco/snpXplorer.

TIMEOR: a web-based tool to uncover temporal regulatory mechanisms from multi-omics data


Uncovering how transcription factors regulate their targets at DNA, RNA and protein levels over time is critical to define gene regulatory networks (GRNs) and assign mechanisms in normal and diseased states. RNA-seq is a standard method measuring gene regulation using an established set of analysis stages. However, none of the currently available pipeline methods for interpreting ordered genomic data (in time or space) use time-series models to assign cause and effect relationships within GRNs, are adaptive to diverse experimental designs, or enable user interpretation through a web-based platform. Furthermore, methods integrating ordered RNA-seq data with protein-DNA binding data to distinguish direct from indirect interactions are urgently needed. We present TIMEOR (Trajectory Inference and Mechanism Exploration with Omics data in R), the first web-based and adaptive time-series multi-omics pipeline method which infers the relationship between gene regulatory events across time. TIMEOR addresses the critical need for methods to determine causal regulatory mechanism networks by leveraging time-series RNA-seq, motif analysis, protein-DNA binding data, and protein-protein interaction networks. TIMEOR’s user-catered approach helps non-coders generate new hypotheses and validate known mechanisms. We used TIMEOR to identify a novel link between insulin stimulation and the circadian rhythm cycle. TIMEOR is available at https://github.com/ashleymaeconard/TIMEOR.git and http://timeor.brown.edu.

Arena3D(web): interactive 3D visualization of multilayered networks


Efficient integration and visualization of heterogeneous biomedical information in a single view is a key challenge. In this study, we present Arena3D(web), the first, fully interactive and dependency-free, web application which allows the visualization of multilayered graphs in 3D space. With Arena3D(web), users can integrate multiple networks in a single view along with their intra- and inter-layer connections. For clearer and more informative views, users can choose between a plethora of layout algorithms and apply them on a set of selected layers either individually or in combination. Users can align networks and highlight node topological features, whereas each layer as well as the whole scene can be translated, rotated and scaled in 3D space. User-selected edge colors can be used to highlight important paths, while node positioning, coloring and resizing can be adjusted on-the-fly. In its current version, Arena3D(web) supports weighted and unweighted undirected graphs and is written in R, Shiny and JavaScript. We demonstrate the functionality of Arena3D(web) using two different use-case scenarios; one regarding drug repurposing for SARS-CoV-2 and one related to GPCR signaling pathways implicated in melanoma. Arena3D(web) is available at http://bib.fleming.gr:3838/Arena3D or http://bib.fleming.gr/Arena3D.

ProteoSign v2: a faster and evolved user-friendly online tool for statistical analyses of differential proteomics

http://bioinformatics.med. uoc.gr/ProteoSign

Bottom-up proteomics analyses have been proved over the last years to be a powerful tool in the characterization of the proteome and are crucial for understanding cellular and organism behaviour. Through differential proteomic analysis researchers can shed light on groups of proteins or individual proteins that play key roles in certain, normal or pathological conditions. However, several tools for the analysis of such complex datasets are powerful, but hard-to-use with steep learning curves. In addition, some other tools are easy to use, but are weak in terms of analytical power. Previously, we have introduced ProteoSign, a powerful, yet user-friendly open-source online platform for protein differential expression/abundance analysis designed with the end-proteomics user in mind. Part of Proteosign’s power stems from the utilization of the well-established Linear Models For Microarray Data (LIMMA) methodology. Here, we present a substantial upgrade of this computational resource, called ProteoSign v2, where we introduce major improvements, also based on user feedback. The new version offers more plot options, supports additional experimental designs, analyzes updated input datasets and performs a gene enrichment analysis of the differentially expressed proteins. We also introduce the deployment of the Docker technology and significantly increase the speed of a full analysis. ProteoSign v2 is available at http://bioinformatics.med. uoc.gr/ProteoSign.