Control of cell proliferation, differentiation, activation and cell removal is crucial for the development and existence of multi-cellular organisms. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a major control mechanism by which cells die and is also important in controlling cell number and proliferation as part of normal development. Molecular networks that regulate these processes are critical targets for drug development, gene therapy, and metabolic engineering. The molecular interactions involved in this and other processes are analyzed and annotated by experts and stored as data in different databases. The key task is to integrate, manage and visualize these data available from different sources and present them in a user-comprehensible manner.
Here we present VINEdb, a data warehouse developed to interact with and to explore integrated life science data. Extendable open source data warehouse architecture enables platform-independent usability of the web application and the underlying infrastructure. A high degree of transparency and up-to-dateness is ensured by a monitor component to control and update the data from the sources. Furthermore, the system is supported by a visualization component to allow interactive graphical exploration of the integrated data. We will use apoptotic pathway and caspase-3 as a case study to show capability and usability of our approach. VINEdb is available at http://tunicata.techfak.unibielefeld.de/VINEdb/.