Heart development is a highly complex process with a series of precisely spatially and temporally ordered events on molecular level. To understand how these events are controlled and coordinated, it is necessary to study the underlying gene expression and its regulation. To help researchers in this formidable task, we have established HeartEXpress, a web-based platform for the analysis of integrated expression datasets associated with cardiomyogenesis. The current version comprises human and murine gene expression data from independent microarray experiments for stem cell differentiation, in vitro or in vivo reprogramming, in the context of cardiomyogenesis, and heart development. We hope that this resource will support the development of new therapies in cardiac regenerative medicine.
What is HeartEXpress?
HeartEXpress is a database that comprises published human and murine gene expression data from various microarray experiments for stem cell differentiation, in vitro or in vivo reprogramming in the context of cardiomyogenesis as well as heart development.
Genome wide expression profiling of cardiogenesis in vivo and surrogate processes in vitro have delivered a detailed picture of molecular events important for the constitution of heart cells. However, the generated data remained difficult to access and analyze for many individual researchers, as they were dispersed across various repositories. HeartExpress can help here by providing an unique platform integrating various microarray studies for human and mouse with relevance for cardiogenesis.
At present, HeartEXpress integrated expression data from 15 mouse studies and 8 human studies with a total of 131 experimental conditions. These expression datasets cover more than 20000 genes in mouse and more than 19000 genes in human. Data sets were classified according to organisms and types of experiment and integrated data from both organisms and different types of studies.
What is HeartEXpress useful for?
For genes of interest, HeartEXpress enables the simultaneous inspection of expression data from many individual experiments obtained with different transcriptomic technologies. It allows query for multiple gene symbols and offers the option to download data as table for further analysis or presentation.
Moreover, HeartEXpress provides clustered gene expression data and correlation between genes. These feature help to identifiy co-expression patterns of genes indicating a common regulation and function during differentiation, reprogram-ming or heart development. Such approach may be useful for:
– Assigning functions to genes that have not been yet associated to heart development or heart morphology;
– Prioritize genes for experimental characterization
– Generate new research hypotheses
HeartEXpress can be utilized in an intuitive way and has a “step-by-step” instructions on its Help page as well as a table containing information about the studies integrated in the database.
More information: http://heartexpress.sysbiolab.eu/