Web-based program to illustrate metabolic pathways to students

Alan Wise


There are many excellent Internet resources that illustrate metabolic pathways. The International Union of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (2002) provides figures illustrating parts of metabolism with chemical structures and enzyme names. More clearly laid out pathways with larger chemical structures have been provided by Miller (1998), and the structures can be visualised in 3D if you have the right plug-in. The well-known wall chart produced by Boehringer-Mannheim (2000) can be accessed online and users can search for a keyword or click on the map itself to see part of it. GenomeNet (2002) provides overview diagrams illustrating sections of metabolism with hotspots that can be clicked to provide detailed information on the enzymes including amino acid and base sequences. These resources are extremely valuable for students who are studying biochemistry in depth, but they are arguably too complex and information intensive for many who are required to study only the major pathways at a basic level.

Full Text: