Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Syst Biol. 2009 Mar 12;3:33. doi: 10.1186/1752-0509-3-33.

Reconstruction of metabolic pathways for the cattle genome.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801, USA.



Metabolic reconstruction of microbial, plant and animal genomes is a necessary step toward understanding the evolutionary origins of metabolism and species-specific adaptive traits. The aims of this study were to reconstruct conserved metabolic pathways in the cattle genome and to identify metabolic pathways with missing genes and proteins. The MetaCyc database and PathwayTools software suite were chosen for this work because they are widely used and easy to implement.


An amalgamated cattle genome database was created using the NCBI and Ensembl cattle genome databases (based on build 3.1) as data sources. PathwayTools was used to create a cattle-specific pathway genome database, which was followed by comprehensive manual curation for the reconstruction of metabolic pathways. The curated database, CattleCyc 1.0, consists of 217 metabolic pathways. A total of 64 mammalian-specific metabolic pathways were modified from the reference pathways in MetaCyc, and two pathways previously identified but missing from MetaCyc were added. Comparative analysis of metabolic pathways revealed the absence of mammalian genes for 22 metabolic enzymes whose activity was reported in the literature. We also identified six human metabolic protein-coding genes for which the cattle ortholog is missing from the sequence assembly.


CattleCyc is a powerful tool for understanding the biology of ruminants and other cetartiodactyl species. In addition, the approach used to develop CattleCyc provides a framework for the metabolic reconstruction of other newly sequenced mammalian genomes. It is clear that metabolic pathway analysis strongly reflects the quality of the underlying genome annotations. Thus, having well-annotated genomes from many mammalian species hosted in BioCyc will facilitate the comparative analysis of metabolic pathways among different species and a systems approach to comparative physiology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center