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Autoimmune Diseases
Volume 2012, Article ID 792106, 10 pages
Research Article

The Autoimmune Tautology: An In Silico Approach

1Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research (CREA), School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidad del Rosario, Carrera 24, No. 63-69 piso 3, Bogotá, Colombia
2Bioinformatics and Intelligent Systems Research Laboratory (BIOLISI), Universidad Nacional, Avenida Carrera 30, No. 45-03, Bogotá, Colombia

Received 13 October 2011; Accepted 26 November 2011

Academic Editor: Adriana Rojas-Villarraga

Copyright © 2012 Ricardo A. Cifuentes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is genetic evidence of similarities and differences among autoimmune diseases (AIDs) that warrants looking at a general panorama of what has been published. Thus, our aim was to determine the main shared genes and to what extent they contribute to building clusters of AIDs. We combined a text-mining approach to build clusters of genetic concept profiles (GCPs) from the literature in MedLine with knowledge of protein-protein interactions to confirm if genes in GCP encode proteins that truly interact. We found three clusters in which the genes with the highest contribution encoded proteins that showed strong and specific interactions. After projecting the AIDs on a plane, two clusters could be discerned: Sjögren’s syndrome—systemic lupus erythematosus, and autoimmune thyroid disease—type1 diabetes—rheumatoid arthritis. Our results support the common origin of AIDs and the role of genes involved in apoptosis such as CTLA4, FASLG, and IL10.