Research for the Future Program 2000-2004
Biological Systems Database (KEGG) and Genome Information Science
Minoru Kanehisa, Bioinformatics Center, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University
With the continuous elaboration of high throughput experimental technologies, ever increasing amounts of data are accumulated for genomic and cDNA sequences, gene expression profiles, SNPs, protein-protein interactions, and protein 3D structures.
However complete, such experimentally determined catalogs of genes, RNAs, and proteins only tell us about the building blocks of life.
They do not tell us much about how life operates as a system, such as systemic functional behaviors of the cell or the organism.
KEGG, which is now funded mostly by this Research for the Future Program, is our attempt to actually perform synthesis from the building blocks to the functioning biological system.
The synthesis is knowledge based.
It is essential to computerize current knowledge about actual wiring (interactions) of building blocks in living cells.
It is also necessary to understand basic principles of molecular interactions and chemical reactions that play key roles in dynamic interactions of the system with its environment.
The following three major KEGG databases are supported by this program:
- PATHWAY - Knowledge about molecular interaction networks, eg. pathways and complexes; hierarchically categorized with the top hierarchy being metabolism, genetic information processing, environmental information processing, and cellular processes.
- GENES - Collection of gene catalogs for all the completely sequenced genomes and some partial genomes together with positonal correlations of genes in each genome map; also contains most up-to-date gene function annotations.
- LIGAND - Knowledge about chemical compounds and chemical reactions in the metabolic pathway as well as in the interactions with the environment.
More details in Japanese
See also: Preface of Post-Genome Informatics
Created on March 10, 2000
Updated on June 4, 2001
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