Standard Article

Metabolic Pathway Databases

  1. Lynda BM Ellis

Published Online: 15 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003036.pub2



How to Cite

Ellis, L. B. 2010. Metabolic Pathway Databases. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2010


Metabolic pathway databases may draw on enzyme, compound and gene databases, but usually go beyond them to show how enzyme reactions link to one another and ultimately form pathways for catabolism, anabolism or other necessary cellular functions. Public metabolic databases may contain information on pathways shared by many organisms; these may omit specialized metabolism. Others may limit themselves to share or unique pathways found in specific organisms, or specialized metabolism. Metabolic pathway databases are a resource for metabolic engineering. Genetic material from microbes, plants and animals is being modified at the present time; these modifications are often based on information mined from a pathway database. Mining of metabolic data is still in its infancy. Based on information stored in today's metabolic databases, it may be possible in the future to predict metabolic pathways for the biodegradation of novel environmental toxins or biosynthesis of needed specialty chemicals.

Key concepts:

  • Metabolic databases contain information on enzymes, compounds and genes organized in metabolic pathways.

  • Metabolic databases may contain information on pathways shared by many organisms, or may limit themselves to pathways in specific organisms or to specific types of pathways.

  • Metabolic databases are a resource for metabolic engineering, which needs information on the genes, enzymes and pathways found in target organisms.


  • metabolism;
  • databases;
  • world wide web