The 21st century has revealed much about the fundamental cellular process of autophagy. Autophagy controls the catabolism and recycling of various cellular components both as a constitutive process and as a response to stress and foreign material invasion. There is considerable knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of autophagy, and this is still growing as new modalities emerge. There is a need to investigate autophagy mechanisms reliably, comprehensively and conveniently. Reactome is a freely available knowledgebase that consists of manually curated molecular events (reactions) organized into cellular pathways (https://reactome.org/). Pathways/reactions in Reactome are hierarchically structured, graphically presented and extensively annotated. Data analysis tools, such as pathway enrichment, expression data overlay and species comparison, are also available. For customized analysis, information can also be programmatically queried. Here, we discuss the curation and annotation of the molecular mechanisms of autophagy in Reactome. We also demonstrate the value that Reactome adds to research by reanalyzing a previously published work on genome-wide CRISPR screening of autophagy components.
Abbreviations: CMA: chaperone-mediated autophagy; GO: Gene Ontology; MA: macroautophagy; MI: microautophagy; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; SQSTM1: sequestosome 1.
Keywords: Annotation; Reactome; autophagy; biocuration; curation; enrichment analysis; knowledgebase; mechanistic analysis; molecular reactions; pathways.