Many databases propose their own structure and format to provide data describing biological processes. This heterogeneity contributes to the difficulty of large systematic and automatic functional comparisons. To overcome these problems, we have used the BioΨ formal description scheme which allows multi-level representations of biological process information. Applied to the description of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), we show that BioΨ allows the formal integration of functional information existing in current databases and make them available for further automated analysis. In addition such a formal TCA cycle process description leads to a more accurate biological process annotation which takes in account the biological context. This enables us to perform an automated comparison of the TCA cycles for seven different species based on processes rather than protein sequences. From current databases, BioΨ is able to unravel information that are already known by the biologists but are not available for automated analysis tools and simulation software, because of the lack of formal process descriptions. This use of the BioΨ description scheme to describe the TCA cycle was a key step of the MitoScop project that aims to describe and simulate mitochondrial metabolism in silico.
Volume 47, 2022
Continuous Article Publishing mode
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