Most human diseases are complex multi-factorial diseases resulting from the combination of various genetic and environmental factors. In the KEGG database resource (http://www.genome.jp/kegg/), diseases are viewed as perturbed states of the molecular system, and drugs as perturbants to the molecular system. Disease information is computerized in two forms: pathway maps and gene/molecule lists. The KEGG PATHWAY database contains pathway maps for the molecular systems in both normal and perturbed states. In the KEGG DISEASE database, each disease is represented by a list of known disease genes, any known environmental factors at the molecular level, diagnostic markers and therapeutic drugs, which may reflect the underlying molecular system. The KEGG DRUG database contains chemical structures and/or chemical components of all drugs in Japan, including crude drugs and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) formulas, and drugs in the USA and Europe. This database also captures knowledge about two types of molecular networks: the interaction network with target molecules, metabolizing enzymes, other drugs, etc. and the chemical structure transformation network in the history of drug development. The new disease/drug information resource named KEGG MEDICUS can be used as a reference knowledge base for computational analysis of molecular networks, especially, by integrating large-scale experimental datasets.
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