Eat4Genes: a bioinformatic rational gene targeting app and prototype model for improving human health

Ford, Morgan L.
Cooley, Jessica M.
Sripada, Veda
Xu, Zhengwen
Erickson, John S.
Bennett, Kristin P.
Crawford, Dana R.
No Thumbnail Available
Other Contributors
Issue Date
Terms of Use
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Full Citation
Ford, M., Cooley, J., Sripada, V., Xu, Z., Erickson, J., Bennett, K., & Crawford, D. (2023). Eat4Genes: a bioinformatic rational gene targeting app and prototype model for improving human health. Frontiers in Nutrition, 10.
Introduction and aimsDietary Rational Gene Targeting (DRGT) is a therapeutic dietary strategy that uses healthy dietary agents to modulate the expression of disease-causing genes back toward the normal. Here we use the DRGT approach to (1) identify human studies assessing gene expression after ingestion of healthy dietary agents with an emphasis on whole foods, and (2) use this data to construct an online dietary guide app prototype toward eventually aiding patients, healthcare providers, community and researchers in treating and preventing numerous health conditions. MethodsWe used the keywords "human", "gene expression" and separately, 51 different dietary agents with reported health benefits to search GEO, PubMed, Google Scholar, Clinical trials, Cochrane library, and EMBL-EBI databases for related studies. Studies meeting qualifying criteria were assessed for gene modulations. The R-Shiny platform was utilized to construct an interactive app called "Eat4Genes". ResultsFifty-one human ingestion studies (37 whole food related) and 96 key risk genes were identified. Human gene expression studies were found for 18 of 41 searched whole foods or extracts. App construction included the option to select either specific conditions/diseases or genes followed by food guide suggestions, key target genes, data sources and links, dietary suggestion rankings, bar chart or bubble chart visualization, optional full report, and nutrient categories. We also present user scenarios from physician and researcher perspectives. ConclusionIn conclusion, an interactive dietary guide app prototype has been constructed as a first step towards eventually translating our DRGT strategy into an innovative, low-cost, healthy, and readily translatable public resource to improve health.
Frontiers in Nutrition