Background: Many diseases are driven by gene-environment interactions. One important environmental factor is the metabolic output of human gut microbiota. A comprehensive catalog of human metabolites originated in microbes is critical for data-driven approaches to understand how microbial metabolism contributes to human health and diseases. Here we present a novel integrated approach to automatically extract and analyze microbial metabolites from 28 million published biomedical records.
Results: First, we classified 28,851,232 MEDLINE records into microbial metabolism-related or not. Second, candidate microbial metabolites were extracted from the classified texts. Third, we developed signal prioritization algorithms to further differentiate microbial metabolites from metabolites originated from other resources. Finally, we systematically analyzed the interactions between extracted microbial metabolites and human genes. A total of 11,846 metabolites were extracted from 28 million MEDLINE articles. The combined text classification and signal prioritization significantly enriched true positives among top: manual curation of top 100 metabolites showed a true precision of 0.55, representing a significant 38.3-fold enrichment as compared to the precision of 0.014 for baseline extraction. More importantly, 29% extracted microbial metabolites have not been captured by existing databases. Our data-driven analysis of the interactions between the extracted microbial metabolite and human genetics provides mechanistic insights into how microbiota may contribute to human diseases.
Conclusions: This study represents the first effort towards building a comprehensive knowledge base of microbial metabolites, which can set the foundation for future tasks of microbial metabolite relationship extraction from literature and facilitate data-driven studies of how microbial metabolism contributes to human diseases.
Gut microbiome, Microbial metabolites, Natural language processing, Information extraction, Text mining, Text classification, Signal prioritization