Recent high-throughput technologies allow researchers to measure gene expression, protein and metabolite levels for many thousands of molecules, generating huge amounts of data. Interpreting these data requires an understanding of the connections between these molecules. An effective way to do this is to integrate the experimental information with well-annotated established pathway data (Figure 11). Reactome fulfils this need by providing free access to detailed pathways combined with analytical tools.
Figure 11. Integrating functional data with published literature for efficient and effective data analysis.
Reactome pathway diagrams are more detailed than the simple graphics that typify textbook pathway representations. They represent the precise molecular details of every event in a pathway and link to references that contain experimental verification of those events. Reactome describes the fate of every molecule. Events are never assumed to be 'obvious' to the reader or too trivial for inclusion. Molecules are represented in the correct cellular compartment; transport between compartments is considered to be a reaction and is clearly represented.
For computational biologists
Reactome data are stored in a relational database with a fully defined schema, Both the database and the schema are freely available to download from the website. Software for the associated web interface and tools used for curation of content are also free to download and reuse.
Reactome data are highly structured, making them amenable to computational reuse. Data can be downloaded in several standard formats.