Study of TRP channels expressed in the central nervous system
Among the 30 thousand human genes, number of 'druggable' genes are said to be 3 thousand. Also, the number of disease-modifying genes may be 3 thousand, and the overlap will be in a range of 6 to 15 hundred at the most. In the possible targets, GPCR and kinases are highly ranked, while the share of cation channel is only 2%. However, the percentages of druggable genes are kinase on top, GPCR the second, and cation channels are ranked as the third with a share of 5%. These estimates indicate our hope, however the genome-based drug discovery is far from the ion channel targets.
TRP (transient receptor potential) channels are new class of cation channel operated by various kinds of environmental stimuli, including temperature, pH, pressure (osmolarity), reactive radicals and receptor activation leading to phosphoinositide metabolism. Among the TRP superfamily, we are focusing on TRPC3/4/5 and TRPM2/7 channels specifically or abundantly expressed in the brain, which have great potentials as drug targets for CNS diseases.
Building Japanese-English ontology of life science terms
In parallel with the recent progress in life sciences, vast numbers of words for new substances and phenomena have been appearing. Since 1993, we have been analyzing English texts of medical journals selected mainly from the public MEDLINE database and collecting frequently-used terms together with their frequencies, concordances, typical usages, definitions and translations. The data were recorded in a versatile relational database and edited into several text-based, English-Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries intended for public release. We have also developed convenient online and offline systems for our electronic dictionaries and are providing them on our homepage (http://lsd.pharm.kyoto-u.ac.jp/
). The recent 2005 version of the online dictionary WebLSD contains 41,000 entries of English terms with their translations and definitions, 26,000 example sentences for 5,100 words, and on-demand concordance engine for all words. The access log statistics of the WebLSD server indicate more than 70,000 searches per day, and the number has been increasing exponentially year by year. Based on the dictionary, we are building a Japanese-English compatible thesaurus, which will be used in semantic web and meta-analyses of literature for knowledge finding.