Access to immunology through the Gene Ontology.

Document Type


Publication Date



B-Lymphocytes, Biomedical-Research, Computational-Biology, Data-Interpretation-Statistical, Databases-Genetic, Humans, Immunity, Lymphocyte-Activation, Vocabulary-Controlled

JAX Source

Immunology 2008 Oct; 125(2):154-60.


The Gene Ontology (GO) is widely recognized as the premier tool for the organization and functional annotation of molecular aspects of cellular systems. However, for many immunologists the use of GO is a very foreign concept. Indeed, as a controlled vocabulary, GO can almost be considered a new language, and it can be difficult to appreciate the use and value of this approach for understanding the immune system. This review reflects on the application of GO to the field of immunology and explains the process of GO annotation. Finally, this review hopes to inspire immunologists to invest time and energy in improving both the content of the GO and the quality of GO annotations associated with genes of immunological interest.