MBROLE3: improved functional enrichment of chemical compounds for metabolomics data analysis

Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 May 13;gkad405. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkad405. Online ahead of print.


MBROLE (Metabolites Biological Role) facilitates the biological interpretation of metabolomics experiments. It performs enrichment analysis of a set of chemical compounds through statistical analysis of annotations from several databases. The original MBROLE server was released in 2011 and, since then, different groups worldwide have used it to analyze metabolomics experiments from a variety of organisms. Here we present the latest version of the system, MBROLE3, accessible at http://csbg.cnb.csic.es/mbrole3. This new version contains updated annotations from previously included databases as well as a wide variety of new functional annotations, such as additional pathway databases and Gene Ontology terms. Of special relevance is the inclusion of a new category of annotations, 'indirect annotations', extracted from the scientific literature and from curated chemical-protein associations. The latter allows to analyze enriched annotations of the proteins known to interact with the set of chemical compounds of interest. Results are provided in the form of interactive tables, formatted data to download, and graphical plots.