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Bioinformatics. 2010 Aug 15;26(16):2042-50. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btq310. Epub 2010 Jun 11.

Uniformly curated signaling pathways reveal tissue-specific cross-talks and support drug target discovery.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary.



Signaling pathways control a large variety of cellular processes. However, currently, even within the same database signaling pathways are often curated at different levels of detail. This makes comparative and cross-talk analyses difficult.


We present SignaLink, a database containing eight major signaling pathways from Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and humans. Based on 170 review and approximately 800 research articles, we have compiled pathways with semi-automatic searches and uniform, well-documented curation rules. We found that in humans any two of the eight pathways can cross-talk. We quantified the possible tissue- and cancer-specific activity of cross-talks and found pathway-specific expression profiles. In addition, we identified 327 proteins relevant for drug target discovery.


We provide a novel resource for comparative and cross-talk analyses of signaling pathways. The identified multi-pathway and tissue-specific cross-talks contribute to the understanding of the signaling complexity in health and disease, and underscore its importance in network-based drug target selection.


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