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A formalization of one of the main claims of “Sonic hedgehog signaling in astrocytes” by Hill et al. 20211


Hill et al. claimed in previous work that sonic hedgehog signalling pathway is an essential regulator of astrocytes development. We present here a formalization of that claim, stating that all things of class “smoothened signaling pathway” that are in the context of a thing of class “human” mostly have a relation of type “affects” to a thing of class “astrocyte development” in the same context.


Hill et al. [2] state that “Shh signaling and emerging data point to essential roles for this pleiotropic signaling pathway in regulating various functional properties of astrocytes.”. We present here a formalization of the main scientific claim from this quote by using a semantic template called the super-pattern [1].


Our formalization looks as follows:

CONTEXT-CLASS (“in the context of all …”):human
SUBJECT-CLASS (“things of type …”):smoothened signaling pathway
RELATION-TYPE (“have a relation of type …”):affects
OBJECT-CLASS (“to things of type …”):astrocyte development

In the context class we use the “human” (Q5) class from Wikipedia. In subject class, we use the “smoothened signaling pathway” (GO:0007224) from GeneOntology. In the object class we used the “astrocyte development” (GO:0014002) class from GeneOntology.

3.RDF code

This is our formalization as a nanopublication in TriG format:

@prefix this: <> .
@prefix sub: <> .
@prefix np: <> .
@prefix dct: <> .
@prefix nt: <> .
@prefix npx: <> .
@prefix xsd: <> .
@prefix rdfs: <> .
@prefix orcid: <> .
@prefix prov: <> .
@prefix sp: <> .

sub:Head {
  this: np:hasAssertion sub:assertion ;
    np:hasProvenance sub:provenance ;
    np:hasPublicationInfo sub:pubinfo ;
    a np:Nanopublication .
sub:assertion {
  sub:spi a <> ;
    rdfs:label "Sonic hedgehog signalling pathway is an essential regulator of astrocytes development." ;
    sp:hasContextClass <> ;
    sp:hasSubjectClass <> ;
    sp:hasQualifier sp:mostlyQualifier ;
    sp:hasRelation sp:affects ;
    sp:hasObjectClass <> .
sub:provenance {
  sub:activity a sp:FormalizationActivity ;
    prov:used sub:quote , <> ;
    prov:wasAssociatedWith orcid:0000-0001-8004-0464 .
  sub:assertion prov:wasGeneratedBy sub:activity .
  sub:quote prov:value "Shh signaling and emerging data point to essential roles for this pleiotropic signaling pathway in
regulating various functional properties of astrocytes." ;
    prov:wasQuotedFrom <> .
sub:pubinfo {
  sub:sig npx:hasAlgorithm "RSA" ;
HKn+QWB6Zkn/ZisiG24V5C0kGpNji6Ab0gaAFZYl32VdS0qLPr34LLsEDzJRUoZHWxg0KoHw85F0EzlrPH+JpwIDAQAB" ;
KJ054/HrTvDw0oip/0Z4KKKmRPse7PeyE9b6fOMj/wz8jAo=" ;
    npx:hasSignatureTarget this: .
  this: dct:created "2021-10-20T12:00:18.181+02:00"^^xsd:dateTime ;
    dct:creator orcid:0000-0001-8004-0464 ;
    npx:introduces sub:spi ;
    <> <> ;
    nt:wasCreatedFromProvenanceTemplate <> ;
    nt:wasCreatedFromPubinfoTemplate <> ,
<> ;
    nt:wasCreatedFromTemplate <> .



C.I. Bucur, T. Kuhn, D. Ceolin and J. van Ossenbruggen, Expressing high-level scientific claims with formal semantics, in: Proceedings of the 11th Knowledge Capture Conference, (2021) . doi:10.1145/3460210.3493561.


S.A. Hill, M. Fu and A.D.R. Garcia, Sonic hedgehog signaling in astrocytes, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 78: ((2021) ), 1393–1403. doi:10.1007/s00018-020-03668-8.