Researchers at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry in Moscow have developed a multifunctional browser, designated VDJviz, to process big data derived from modern DNA sequence analysis. The project is expected to step up the development of immunogenomics. The results of the research have been described in detail in English in BMC Genomics.
According to Ivan Zvyagin, one of the project developers and authors of the scientific article, the new software product owes its name, VDJviz, to the names of the groups of genome fragments that form mature receptor genes for the B- and T-cells of the human immune system, as well as antibodies. The names are: V—variable, D—diversity, and J—joining.
“The complex gene maturation process called V(D)J recombination lays the foundation for the development of adaptive immunity, the protective system in the body which is theoretically capable of withstanding any pathogen that comes, and preventing tumor formation,” the scientist said.
Modern molecular biology techniques enable researchers to determine the coding sequences of those hyper-variable receptors and immunoglobulins. Using advanced bioinformatics tools in processing such data helps scientists restore adaptive immunity cells. The VDJviz is one of such tools, and an effective one, the developers claim, as any biologist with or without special programming skills can master the software.
Mr. Zvyagin hopes the project will help develop “new therapies for autoimmune and oncologic diseases, as well as for allergies.”