Web-based metabolic network visualization with a zooming user interface

BMC Bioinformatics. 2011;12(1):176 DOI 10.1186/1471-2105-12-176


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: BMC Bioinformatics

ISSN: 1471-2105 (Online)

Publisher: BMC

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Medicine (General): Computer applications to medicine. Medical informatics | Science: Biology (General)

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Karp Peter D

Latendresse Mario


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 19 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Displaying complex metabolic-map diagrams, for Web browsers, and allowing users to interact with them for querying and overlaying expression data over them is challenging.</p> <p>Description</p> <p>We present a Web-based metabolic-map diagram, which can be interactively explored by the user, called the <it>Cellular Overview</it>. The main characteristic of this application is the zooming user interface enabling the user to focus on appropriate granularities of the network at will. Various searching commands are available to visually highlight sets of reactions, pathways, enzymes, metabolites, and so on. Expression data from single or multiple experiments can be overlaid on the diagram, which we call the Omics Viewer capability. The application provides Web services to highlight the diagram and to invoke the <it>Omics Viewer</it>. This application is entirely written in JavaScript for the client browsers and connect to a Pathway Tools Web server to retrieve data and diagrams. It uses the OpenLayers library to display tiled diagrams.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>This new online tool is capable of displaying large and complex metabolic-map diagrams in a very interactive manner. This application is available as part of the Pathway Tools software that powers multiple metabolic databases including <monospace>Biocyc.org</monospace>: The Cellular Overview is accessible under the <monospace>Tools</monospace> menu.</p>