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J Chem Inf Model. 2014 Jun 23;54(6):1558-66. doi: 10.1021/ci400571e. Epub 2014 Jun 4.

WURCS: the Web3 unique representation of carbohydrate structures.

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Research Center for Medical Glycoscience, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) , Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan.


In recent years, the Semantic Web has become the focus of life science database development as a means to link life science data in an effective and efficient manner. In order for carbohydrate data to be applied to this new technology, there are two requirements for carbohydrate data representations: (1) a linear notation which can be used as a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) if needed and (2) a unique notation such that any published glycan structure can be represented distinctively. This latter requirement includes the possible representation of nonstandard monosaccharide units as a part of the glycan structure, as well as compositions, repeating units, and ambiguous structures where linkages/linkage positions are unidentified. Therefore, we have developed the Web3 Unique Representation of Carbohydrate Structures (WURCS) as a new linear notation for representing carbohydrates for the Semantic Web.

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