A Data and Knowledge Base for Cell Signaling Networks

Takako Igarashi[1] (taka@nihs.go.jp)
Yoko Nadaoka[2] (nadaoka@rinshoken.or.jp)
Tsuguchika Kaminuma[1] (kaminuma@nihs.go.jp)

[1] National Institute of Health Sciences
1-18-1 Kami-Yoga, Setagaya-ku,Tokyo 158
[2] The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
3-18-22 Hon-Komagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113


Each cell in a multicellular animal is programmed during development to respond to specific outer chemical signals. Some of these chemical signals activate receptor proteins on the surface of the cell that trigger series of membrane and intracellular signal transductions, and eventually influence gene expressions. These complex cell signaling mechanisms have been unveiled at molecular levels in various multicellular organisms in the past decade. It was found that these molecular signaling pathways or what we may call cell signaling networks (CSN) play important roles in wide range of biological phenomena that characterize multicellular animals. These phenomena include development, differentiation, reproduction, morphogenesis, carcinogenesis, apoptosis, and even learning.

We have developed the data and knowledge base of the CSN that consists of interacting extracellular (xenobiotic) chemicals and biomolecules. The system contains signaling pathways, and structural and functional data of the molecules. The system was implemented on UNIX workstations using an object oriented database management system ACEDB.