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Database Profile

General information

Full name: Reactome Pathway Knowledgebase
Description: Reactome is a free, open-source, curated and peer-reviewed pathway database. Our goal is to provide intuitive bioinformatics tools for the visualization, interpretation, and analysis of pathway knowledge to support basic research, genome analysis, modeling, systems biology, and education.
Year founded: 2013
Last update: 2019-3-25
Version: v68
Real time : Checking...
Country/Region: Canada
Data type:
Data object:
Database category:
Major organism:

Contact information

University/Institution: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Address: 661 University Ave, Suite 510, Toronto, ON, M5G 0A3
City: Toronto
Province/State: ON
Country/Region: Canada
Contact name (PI/Team): Reactome Helpdesk
Contact email (PI/Helpdesk):


Reactome graph database: Efficient access to complex pathway data. [PMID: 29377902]
Fabregat A, Korninger F, Viteri G, Sidiropoulos K, Marin-Garcia P, Ping P, Wu G, Stein L, D'Eustachio P, Hermjakob H.

Reactome is a free, open-source, open-data, curated and peer-reviewed knowledgebase of biomolecular pathways. One of its main priorities is to provide easy and efficient access to its high quality curated data. At present, biological pathway databases typically store their contents in relational databases. This limits access efficiency because there are performance issues associated with queries traversing highly interconnected data. The same data in a graph database can be queried more efficiently. Here we present the rationale behind the adoption of a graph database (Neo4j) as well as the new ContentService (REST API) that provides access to these data. The Neo4j graph database and its query language, Cypher, provide efficient access to the complex Reactome data model, facilitating easy traversal and knowledge discovery. The adoption of this technology greatly improved query efficiency, reducing the average query time by 93%. The web service built on top of the graph database provides programmatic access to Reactome data by object oriented queries, but also supports more complex queries that take advantage of the new underlying graph-based data storage. By adopting graph database technology we are providing a high performance pathway data resource to the community. The Reactome graph database use case shows the power of NoSQL database engines for complex biological data types.

PLoS Comput Biol. 2018:14(1) | 32 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
Functional Interaction Network Construction and Analysis for Disease Discovery. [PMID: 28150241]
Wu G, Haw R.

Network-based approaches project seemingly unrelated genes or proteins onto a large-scale network context, therefore providing a holistic visualization and analysis platform for genomic data generated from high-throughput experiments, reducing the dimensionality of data via using network modules and increasing the statistic analysis power. Based on the Reactome database, the most popular and comprehensive open-source biological pathway knowledgebase, we have developed a highly reliable protein functional interaction network covering around 60 % of total human genes and an app called ReactomeFIViz for Cytoscape, the most popular biological network visualization and analysis platform. In this chapter, we describe the detailed procedures on how this functional interaction network is constructed by integrating multiple external data sources, extracting functional interactions from human curated pathway databases, building a machine learning classifier called a Naïve Bayesian Classifier, predicting interactions based on the trained Naïve Bayesian Classifier, and finally constructing the functional interaction database. We also provide an example on how to use ReactomeFIViz for performing network-based data analysis for a list of genes.

Methods Mol Biol. 2017:1558() | 17 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The Reactome pathway Knowledgebase. [PMID: 26656494]
Fabregat A, Sidiropoulos K, Garapati P, Gillespie M, Hausmann K, Haw R, Jassal B, Jupe S, Korninger F, McKay S, Matthews L, May B, Milacic M, Rothfels K, Shamovsky V, Webber M, Weiser J, Williams M, Wu G, Stein L, Hermjakob H, D'Eustachio P.

The Reactome Knowledgebase ( provides molecular details of signal transduction, transport, DNA replication, metabolism and other cellular processes as an ordered network of molecular transformations-an extended version of a classic metabolic map, in a single consistent data model. Reactome functions both as an archive of biological processes and as a tool for discovering unexpected functional relationships in data such as gene expression pattern surveys or somatic mutation catalogues from tumour cells. Over the last two years we redeveloped major components of the Reactome web interface to improve usability, responsiveness and data visualization. A new pathway diagram viewer provides a faster, clearer interface and smooth zooming from the entire reaction network to the details of individual reactions. Tool performance for analysis of user datasets has been substantially improved, now generating detailed results for genome-wide expression datasets within seconds. The analysis module can now be accessed through a RESTFul interface, facilitating its inclusion in third party applications. A new overview module allows the visualization of analysis results on a genome-wide Reactome pathway hierarchy using a single screen page. The search interface now provides auto-completion as well as a faceted search to narrow result lists efficiently. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2016:44(D1) | 600 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The Reactome pathway knowledgebase. [PMID: 24243840]
Croft D, Mundo AF, Haw R, Milacic M, Weiser J, Wu G, Caudy M, Garapati P, Gillespie M, Kamdar MR, Jassal B, Jupe S, Matthews L, May B, Palatnik S, Rothfels K, Shamovsky V, Song H, Williams M, Birney E, Hermjakob H, Stein L, D'Eustachio P.

Reactome ( is a manually curated open-source open-data resource of human pathways and reactions. The current version 46 describes 7088 human proteins (34% of the predicted human proteome), participating in 6744 reactions based on data extracted from 15 107 research publications with PubMed links. The Reactome Web site and analysis tool set have been completely redesigned to increase speed, flexibility and user friendliness. The data model has been extended to support annotation of disease processes due to infectious agents and to mutation.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2014:42(Database issue) | 812 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
A controlled vocabulary for pathway entities and events. [PMID: 24951798]
Jupe S, Jassal B, Williams M, Wu G.

Entities involved in pathways and the events they participate in require descriptive and unambiguous names that are often not available in the literature or elsewhere. Reactome is a manually curated open-source resource of human pathways. It is accessible via a website, available as downloads in standard reusable formats and via Representational State Transfer (REST)-ful and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) application programming interfaces (APIs). We have devised a controlled vocabulary (CV) that creates concise, unambiguous and unique names for reactions (pathway events) and all the molecular entities they involve. The CV could be reapplied in any situation where names are used for pathway entities and events. Adoption of this CV would significantly improve naming consistency and readability, with consequent benefits for searching and data mining within and between databases. Database URL:

Database (Oxford). 2014:2014() | 3 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
Reactome: a database of reactions, pathways and biological processes. [PMID: 21067998]
Croft D, O'Kelly G, Wu G, Haw R, Gillespie M, Matthews L, Caudy M, Garapati P, Gopinath G, Jassal B, Jupe S, Kalatskaya I, Mahajan S, May B, Ndegwa N, Schmidt E, Shamovsky V, Yung C, Birney E, Hermjakob H, D'Eustachio P, Stein L.

Reactome ( is a collaboration among groups at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York University School of Medicine and The European Bioinformatics Institute, to develop an open source curated bioinformatics database of human pathways and reactions. Recently, we developed a new web site with improved tools for pathway browsing and data analysis. The Pathway Browser is an Systems Biology Graphical Notation (SBGN)-based visualization system that supports zooming, scrolling and event highlighting. It exploits PSIQUIC web services to overlay our curated pathways with molecular interaction data from the Reactome Functional Interaction Network and external interaction databases such as IntAct, BioGRID, ChEMBL, iRefIndex, MINT and STRING. Our Pathway and Expression Analysis tools enable ID mapping, pathway assignment and overrepresentation analysis of user-supplied data sets. To support pathway annotation and analysis in other species, we continue to make orthology-based inferences of pathways in non-human species, applying Ensembl Compara to identify orthologs of curated human proteins in each of 20 other species. The resulting inferred pathway sets can be browsed and analyzed with our Species Comparison tool. Collaborations are also underway to create manually curated data sets on the Reactome framework for chicken, Drosophila and rice.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2011:39(Database issue) | 717 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The systematic annotation of the three main GPCR families in Reactome. [PMID: 20671204]
Jassal B, Jupe S, Caudy M, Birney E, Stein L, Hermjakob H, D'Eustachio P.

Reactome is an open-source, freely available database of human biological pathways and processes. A major goal of our work is to provide an integrated view of cellular signalling processes that spans from ligand-receptor interactions to molecular readouts at the level of metabolic and transcriptional events. To this end, we have built the first catalogue of all human G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) known to bind endogenous or natural ligands. The UniProt database has records for 797 proteins classified as GPCRs and sorted into families A/1, B/2 and C/3 on the basis of amino acid sequence. To these records we have added details from the IUPHAR database and our own manual curation of relevant literature to create reactions in which 563 GPCRs bind ligands and also interact with specific G-proteins to initiate signalling cascades. We believe the remaining 234 GPCRs are true orphans. The Reactome GPCR pathway can be viewed as a detailed interactive diagram and can be exported in many forms. It provides a template for the orthology-based inference of GPCR reactions for diverse model organism species, and can be overlaid with protein-protein interaction and gene expression datasets to facilitate overrepresentation studies and other forms of pathway analysis. Database URL:

Database (Oxford). 2010:2010() | 11 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
Reactome knowledgebase of human biological pathways and processes. [PMID: 18981052]
Matthews L, Gopinath G, Gillespie M, Caudy M, Croft D, de Bono B, Garapati P, Hemish J, Hermjakob H, Jassal B, Kanapin A, Lewis S, Mahajan S, May B, Schmidt E, Vastrik I, Wu G, Birney E, Stein L, D'Eustachio P.

Reactome ( is an expert-authored, peer-reviewed knowledgebase of human reactions and pathways that functions as a data mining resource and electronic textbook. Its current release includes 2975 human proteins, 2907 reactions and 4455 literature citations. A new entity-level pathway viewer and improved search and data mining tools facilitate searching and visualizing pathway data and the analysis of user-supplied high-throughput data sets. Reactome has increased its utility to the model organism communities with improved orthology prediction methods allowing pathway inference for 22 species and through collaborations to create manually curated Reactome pathway datasets for species including Arabidopsis, Oryza sativa (rice), Drosophila and Gallus gallus (chicken). Reactome's data content and software can all be freely used and redistributed under open source terms.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2009:37(Database issue) | 494 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
Reactome: a knowledgebase of biological pathways. [PMID: 15608231]
Joshi-Tope G, Gillespie M, Vastrik I, D'Eustachio P, Schmidt E, de Bono B, Jassal B, Gopinath GR, Wu GR, Matthews L, Lewis S, Birney E, Stein L.

Reactome, located at is a curated, peer-reviewed resource of human biological processes. Given the genetic makeup of an organism, the complete set of possible reactions constitutes its reactome. The basic unit of the Reactome database is a reaction; reactions are then grouped into causal chains to form pathways. The Reactome data model allows us to represent many diverse processes in the human system, including the pathways of intermediary metabolism, regulatory pathways, and signal transduction, and high-level processes, such as the cell cycle. Reactome provides a qualitative framework, on which quantitative data can be superimposed. Tools have been developed to facilitate custom data entry and annotation by expert biologists, and to allow visualization and exploration of the finished dataset as an interactive process map. Although our primary curational domain is pathways from Homo sapiens, we regularly create electronic projections of human pathways onto other organisms via putative orthologs, thus making Reactome relevant to model organism research communities. The database is publicly available under open source terms, which allows both its content and its software infrastructure to be freely used and redistributed.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2005:33(Database issue) | 593 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)


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Record metadata

Created on: 2015-06-20
Curated by:
Lina Ma [2019-04-18]
Lina Ma [2018-06-07]
Dong Zou [2018-02-07]
Qi Wang [2018-01-27]
Lin Xia [2016-04-01]
Mengwei Li [2016-02-19]
lin liu [2016-02-08]
lin liu [2016-01-20]
lin liu [2016-01-03]
lin liu [2016-01-01]
Lin Xia [2015-11-20]
Lin Xia [2015-06-26]