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A curated pathway database

The Reactome Team

REACTOME is an open-source, open access, manually curated and peer-reviewed pathway database. Pathway annotations are authored by expert biologists, in collaboration with Reactome editorial staff and cross-referenced to many bioinformatics databases. These include NCBI GeneEnsembl and UniProt databases, the UCSC Genome Browser, the KEGG Compound and ChEBI small molecule databases, PubMed, and Gene Ontology.

The rationale behind Reactome is to convey the rich information in the visual representations of biological pathways familiar from textbooks and articles in a detailed, computationally accessible format. The core unit of the Reactome data model is the reaction. Entities (nucleic acids, proteins, complexes, vaccines, anti-cancer theraputics and small molecules) participating in reactions form a network of biological interactions and are grouped into pathways. Examples of biological pathways in Reactome include classical intermediary metabolism, signaling, innate and acquired immune function, transcriptional regulation, apoptosis and disease.

Reactome provides an intuitive website to navigate pathway knowledge and a suite of data analysis tools to support the pathway-based analysis of complex experimental and computational data sets. Visualisation of Reactome data is facilitated by the Pathway Browser, a Systems Biology Graphical Notation (SBGN)-based interface, that supports zooming, scrolling and event highlighting. It exploits the PSIQUIC web services to overlay molecular interaction data from the Reactome Functional Interaction Network and external interaction databases such as IntActChEMBLBioGRID and iRefIndex.

Pathway Analysis tools analyze user-supplied datasets permitting ID mapping, pathway assignment and over-representation or enrichment analysis. The curated human pathway data are used to infer orthologous events in 17 non-human species including mouse, rat, chicken, worm, fly, yeast and plant. Species Comparison tool allows users to compare predicted pathways with those of human to find reactions and pathways common to a selected species and human. Additional pathway databases based upon the Reactome data model have been created by collaborating groups for the fruit fly, the chicken, and the plant Arabidopsis.

Release Date:
Data type:
2D, Network / hierarchy graph
Installed, Web based
Linux, Mac OSX, Windows

Project development

Institution: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; European Bioinformatics Institute; New York University Medical Center