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The Molecule Role Ontology: An Ontology for Annotation of Signal Transduction Pathway Molecules in the Scientific Literature

In general, it is not easy to specify a single sequence identity for each molecule name that appears in a pathway in the scientific literature. A molecule name may stand for concepts of various granularities, from concrete objects such as H-Ras and ERK1 to abstract concepts or categories such as Ras and MAPK. Typically, the relations among molecule names derive a hierarchical structure; without a proper way to handle this knowledge, it becomes ever more difficult to develop a reliable pathway database. This paper describes an ontology that is designed to annotate molecules in the scientific literature on signal transduction pathways.