The latest release of UniProt marks a major advance in the way this key resource describes enzyme function, with the introduction of Rhea as a vocabulary to annotate and represent enzyme-catalyzed reactions in UniProtKB.

uniprot rhea logos landscape

Rhea is a comprehensive expert-curated knowledgebase of biochemical reactions that uses the ChEBI (Chemical Entities of Biological Interest) ontology to describe reaction chemistry. Rhea provides stable unique identifiers for reactions and standard computationally tractable descriptors for chemical transformations.

“This will be a game changer for both resources”, says SIB Group Leader Alan Bridge at Swiss-Prot. “Rhea links UniProt and other SIB resources like MetaNetX and SwissLipids, as well as ELIXIR Core Data Resources and Deposition Databases such as ChEBI and MetaboLights. UniProt users will be able to use Rhea as a basis to integrate and analyze metabolomic data or to annotate metabolic networks and models. They will be able to mine reaction data using computational methods to predict new pathways for applications like drug production or bioremediation. Going forward we plan to work with other resource providers like the Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium to more closely align Rhea and the GO, further integrating biological and chemical knowledge in a single framework”.

Recent publications provide additional information on Rhea reactions and examples of services that integrate Rhea with biological knowledge from UniProtKB.