The map of human metabolism published in Science Signaling


Today, the paper describing the Metabolic Atlas ( was published in the journal Science Signaling. The metabolic map, also partly incorporated into the Human Protein Atlas, enables exploration of the most extensive mapping of human metabolism to date. Biochemical information and connectivity for thousands of reactions, compounds, and genes comprising human metabolism is presented with hundreds of interactive 2D and 3D maps.

Metabolism is the collection of chemical reactions supplying the building blocks and energy necessary to sustain life. Metabolic Atlas is a knowledgebase of metabolism enabling users to visually navigate human metabolism at the level of entire cellular compartments or individual metabolic pathways. The content of Metabolic Atlas derives from a new genome-scale metabolic model, Human1, which was developed in parallel with the web resource. Human1 enables integrative analysis of human biological data and simulation of metabolite flow through the reaction network.

The Metabolic Atlas is integrated in the Tissue Atlas part of the Human Protein Atlas, providing a metabolic summary of proteins that describes their associated reaction pathways and cellular compartments. The metabolic portion of the Tissue Atlas presents maps of pathways in which a protein participates, accompanied by a heatmap detailing the mRNA levels measured across different human tissue types.

The project is headed by Prof. Jens Nielsen in the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, and conducted in close collaboration with The Human Protein Atlas and National Bioinformatic Infrastructure Sweden (NBIS). The work was funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (

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