Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers have launched an online resource to help accelerate knowledge of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

The PAH Knowledgebase is a computational system that extracts genetic data from available sources and provides online tools for data browsing, integration, pathway graphical presentation and gene ranking.

In the journal Molecular BioSystems, Zhongming Zhao and colleagues reported that the integrative systems-based approach helped them rank PAH-related genes and conduct network-based functional analyses. The PAH Knowledgebase validated “core” genes, gene networks and signaling pathways that previously had been associated with the disease and identified some new ones. It could easily be applied to other pulmonary diseases, the researchers concluded, according to the VUMC Reporter.

PAH is a progressive, highly lethal form of pulmonary hypertension that affects more than 4,800 people in the United States. A third of patients die within three years of diagnosis.

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