What is WikiPathways

WikiPathways was established to facilitate the contribution and maintenance of pathway information by the biology community. WikiPathways is an open, collaborative platform dedicated to the curation of biological pathways. WikiPathways thus presents a new model for pathway databases that enhances and complements ongoing efforts, such as KEGG, Reactome and Pathway Commons. The familiar web-based format of WikiPathways greatly reduces the barrier to participate in pathway curation. More importantly, the open, public approach of WikiPathways allows for broader participation by the entire community, ranging from students to senior experts in each field. This approach also shifts the bulk of peer review, editorial curation, and maintenance to the community.

Why Pathways

Biological pathways provide intuitive views of the myriad of interactions underlying biological processes. A typical signaling pathway, for example, can represent receptor-binding events, protein complexes, phosphorylation reactions, translocations and transcriptional regulation, with only a minimal set of symbols, lines and arrows. These powerful representations are essential tools, common among the textbooks and review articles that document any given field of biology. Making these tools available for computational methods of analysis will allow researchers to connect pathways to databases of biological annotations and experimental data, creating effective products of systems biology. Collecting and maintaining pathway information in a robust database, however, is an ongoing challenge.

How Does it Work

Each pathway at WikiPathways has a dedicated page, displaying the current diagram, description, authors, references, citations, annotations, download options and component gene and protein lists. Any pathway can be edited using the WikiPathways plugin for PathVisio. After editing, an updated pathway image is displayed on the page. The pathway content at WikiPathways is freely available for download in a variety of data and image formats, including GPML, which is a custom XML format compatible with pathway visualization and analysis tools such as Cytoscape, GenMAPP and PathVisio.

Who is Involved

Find information about the WikiPathways Team

For questions, comments or suggestions, please post a message to the discussion board.

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