ISB Home

- Communication -

Volume 5


Full article

In Silico Biology 5, 0007 (2004); ©2005, Bioinformation Systems e.V.  

Deriving an ontology for human gene expression sources from the CYTOMER® database on human organs and cell types

Holger Michael1,*, Xin Chen2, Ellen Fricke3, Martin Haubrock1, Remko Ricanek1 and Edgar Wingender1,3

1 Department of Bioinformatics, Faculty of Medicine, Georg August University Göttingen, Goldschmidtstr. 1, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 The National Laboratory of Protein Engineering and Plant Genetic Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China
3 BIOBASE GmbH, Halchtersche Str. 33, D-38304 Wolfenbüttel, Germany

* Corresponding author; Phone: +49-551-39 14918; Fax: +49-551-39 14914; Email:

Edited by T. Takai-Igarashi; received January 28, 2005; revised February 06, 2005; accepted February 09, 2005; published February 13, 2005


CYTOMER® is a relational database of organs/tissues, cell types, physiological systems and developmental stages that currently focuses on the human system. From this database, we have derived an ontology for anatomical and morphological structures for the human organism which includes all embryonal stages and the cell types constituting these structures. The ontology has been transferred to the OWL format and is freely available for download at

Keywords: ontologies, human developmental stages, gene expression sources, relational database system, OWL, Internet resource