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1.  A consensus yeast metabolic network reconstruction obtained from a community approach to systems biology 
Nature biotechnology  2008;26(10):1155-1160.
Genomic data now allow the large-scale manual or semi-automated reconstruction of metabolic networks. A network reconstruction represents a highly curated organism-specific knowledge base. A few genome-scale network reconstructions have appeared for metabolism in the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These alternative network reconstructions differ in scope and content, and further have used different terminologies to describe the same chemical entities, thus making comparisons between them difficult. The formulation of a ‘community consensus’ network that collects and formalizes the ‘community knowledge’ of yeast metabolism is thus highly desirable. We describe how we have produced a consensus metabolic network reconstruction for S. cerevisiae. Special emphasis is laid on referencing molecules to persistent databases or using database-independent forms such as SMILES or InChI strings, since this permits their chemical structure to be represented unambiguously and in a manner that permits automated reasoning. The reconstruction is readily available via a publicly accessible database and in the Systems Biology Markup Language, and we describe the manner in which it can be maintained as a community resource. It should serve as a common denominator for system biology studies of yeast. Similar strategies will be of benefit to communities studying genome-scale metabolic networks of other organisms.
PMCID: PMC4018421  PMID: 18846089
2.  A community-driven global reconstruction of human metabolism 
Nature biotechnology  2013;31(5):10.1038/nbt.2488.
Multiple models of human metabolism have been reconstructed, but each represents only a subset of our knowledge. Here we describe Recon 2, a community-driven, consensus ‘metabolic reconstruction’, which is the most comprehensive representation of human metabolism that is applicable to computational modeling. Compared with its predecessors, the reconstruction has improved topological and functional features, including ~2× more reactions and ~1.7× more unique metabolites. Using Recon 2 we predicted changes in metabolite biomarkers for 49 inborn errors of metabolism with 77% accuracy when compared to experimental data. Mapping metabolomic data and drug information onto Recon 2 demonstrates its potential for integrating and analyzing diverse data types. Using protein expression data, we automatically generated a compendium of 65 cell type–specific models, providing a basis for manual curation or investigation of cell-specific metabolic properties. Recon 2 will facilitate many future biomedical studies and is freely available at
PMCID: PMC3856361  PMID: 23455439
3.  Genome-wide assessment of the carriers involved in the cellular uptake of drugs: a model system in yeast 
BMC Biology  2011;9:70.
The uptake of drugs into cells has traditionally been considered to be predominantly via passive diffusion through the bilayer portion of the cell membrane. The recent recognition that drug uptake is mostly carrier-mediated raises the question of which drugs use which carriers.
To answer this, we have constructed a chemical genomics platform built upon the yeast gene deletion collection, using competition experiments in batch fermenters and robotic automation of cytotoxicity screens, including protection by 'natural' substrates. Using these, we tested 26 different drugs and identified the carriers required for 18 of the drugs to gain entry into yeast cells.
As well as providing a useful platform technology, these results further substantiate the notion that the cellular uptake of pharmaceutical drugs normally occurs via carrier-mediated transport and indicates that establishing the identity and tissue distribution of such carriers should be a major consideration in the design of safe and effective drugs.
PMCID: PMC3280192  PMID: 22023736
4.  Mining metabolites: extracting the yeast metabolome from the literature 
Metabolomics  2010;7(1):94-101.
Text mining methods have added considerably to our capacity to extract biological knowledge from the literature. Recently the field of systems biology has begun to model and simulate metabolic networks, requiring knowledge of the set of molecules involved. While genomics and proteomics technologies are able to supply the macromolecular parts list, the metabolites are less easily assembled. Most metabolites are known and reported through the scientific literature, rather than through large-scale experimental surveys. Thus it is important to recover them from the literature. Here we present a novel tool to automatically identify metabolite names in the literature, and associate structures where possible, to define the reported yeast metabolome. With ten-fold cross validation on a manually annotated corpus, our recognition tool generates an f-score of 78.49 (precision of 83.02) and demonstrates greater suitability in identifying metabolite names than other existing recognition tools for general chemical molecules. The metabolite recognition tool has been applied to the literature covering an important model organism, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to define its reported metabolome. By coupling to ChemSpider, a major chemical database, we have identified structures for much of the reported metabolome and, where structure identification fails, been able to suggest extensions to ChemSpider. Our manually annotated gold-standard data on 296 abstracts are available as supplementary materials. Metabolite names and, where appropriate, structures are also available as supplementary materials.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11306-010-0251-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3111869  PMID: 21687783
Text mining; Named entity recognition; Yeast metabolome
5.  Further developments towards a genome-scale metabolic model of yeast 
BMC Systems Biology  2010;4:145.
To date, several genome-scale network reconstructions have been used to describe the metabolism of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, each differing in scope and content. The recent community-driven reconstruction, while rigorously evidenced and well annotated, under-represented metabolite transport, lipid metabolism and other pathways, and was not amenable to constraint-based analyses because of lack of pathway connectivity.
We have expanded the yeast network reconstruction to incorporate many new reactions from the literature and represented these in a well-annotated and standards-compliant manner. The new reconstruction comprises 1102 unique metabolic reactions involving 924 unique metabolites - significantly larger in scope than any previous reconstruction. The representation of lipid metabolism in particular has improved, with 234 out of 268 enzymes linked to lipid metabolism now present in at least one reaction. Connectivity is emphatically improved, with more than 90% of metabolites now reachable from the growth medium constituents. The present updates allow constraint-based analyses to be performed; viability predictions of single knockouts are comparable to results from in vivo experiments and to those of previous reconstructions.
We report the development of the most complete reconstruction of yeast metabolism to date that is based upon reliable literature evidence and richly annotated according to MIRIAM standards. The reconstruction is available in the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) and via a publicly accessible database
PMCID: PMC2988745  PMID: 21029416
6.  Integration of metabolic databases for the reconstruction of genome-scale metabolic networks 
BMC Systems Biology  2010;4:114.
Genome-scale metabolic reconstructions have been recognised as a valuable tool for a variety of applications ranging from metabolic engineering to evolutionary studies. However, the reconstruction of such networks remains an arduous process requiring a high level of human intervention. This process is further complicated by occurrences of missing or conflicting information and the absence of common annotation standards between different data sources.
In this article, we report a semi-automated methodology aimed at streamlining the process of metabolic network reconstruction by enabling the integration of different genome-wide databases of metabolic reactions. We present results obtained by applying this methodology to the metabolic network of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. A systematic comparison of compounds and reactions between two genome-wide databases allowed us to obtain a high-quality core consensus reconstruction, which was validated for stoichiometric consistency. A lower level of consensus led to a larger reconstruction, which has a lower quality standard but provides a baseline for further manual curation.
This semi-automated methodology may be applied to other organisms and help to streamline the process of genome-scale network reconstruction in order to accelerate the transfer of such models to applications.
PMCID: PMC2930596  PMID: 20712863
7.  Text mining meets workflow: linking U-Compare with Taverna 
Bioinformatics  2010;26(19):2486-2487.
Summary: Text mining from the biomedical literature is of increasing importance, yet it is not easy for the bioinformatics community to create and run text mining workflows due to the lack of accessibility and interoperability of the text mining resources. The U-Compare system provides a wide range of bio text mining resources in a highly interoperable workflow environment where workflows can very easily be created, executed, evaluated and visualized without coding. We have linked U-Compare to Taverna, a generic workflow system, to expose text mining functionality to the bioinformatics community.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC2944208  PMID: 20709690

Results 1-8 (8)