• Article

CEBS object model for systems biology data, SysBio-OM

Motivation: To promote a systems biology approach to understanding the biological effects of environmental stressors, the Chemical Effects in Biological Systems (CEBS) knowledge base is being developed to house data from multiple complex data streams in a systems friendly manner that will accommodate extensive querying from users. Unified data representation via a single object model will greatly aid in integrating data storage and management, and facilitate reuse of software to analyze and display data resulting from diverse differential expression or differential profile technologies. Data streams include, but are not limited to, gene expression analysis (transcriptomics), protein expression and protein–protein interaction analysis (proteomics) and changes in low molecular weight metabolite levels (metabolomics).

Results: To enable the integration of microarray gene expression, proteomics and metabolomics data in the CEBS system, we designed an object model, Systems Biology Object Model (SysBio-OM). The model is comprehensive and leverages other open source efforts, namely the MicroArray Gene Expression Object Model (MAGE-OM) and the Proteomics Experiment Data Repository (PEDRo) object model. SysBio-OM is designed by extending MAGE-OM to represent protein expression data elements (including those from PEDRo), protein–protein interaction and metabolomics data. SysBio-OM promotes the standardization of data representation and data quality by facilitating the capture of the minimum annotation required for an experiment. Such standardization refines the accuracy of data mining and interpretation. The open source SysBio-OM model, which can be implemented on varied computing platforms is presented here.


Xirasagar, S., Gustafson, S., Merrick, BA., Tomer, KB., Stasiewicz, S., Chan, DD., ... Waters, MD. (2004). CEBS object model for systems biology data, SysBio-OM. Bioinformatics, 20(13), 2004-2015.