IDSL.GOA: gene ontology analysis for interpreting metabolomic datasets

Priyanka Mahajan, Oliver Fiehn, Dinesh Barupal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Biological interpretation of metabolomic datasets often ends at a pathway analysis step to find the over-represented metabolic pathways in the list of statistically significant metabolites. However, definitions of biochemical pathways and metabolite coverage vary among different curated databases, leading to missed interpretations. For the lists of genes, transcripts and proteins, Gene Ontology (GO) terms over-presentation analysis has become a standardized approach for biological interpretation. But, GO analysis has not been achieved for metabolomic datasets. We present a new knowledgebase (KB) and the online tool, Gene Ontology Analysis by the Integrated Data Science Laboratory for Metabolomics and Exposomics (IDSL.GOA) to conduct GO over-representation analysis for a metabolite list. The IDSL.GOA KB covers 2393 metabolic GO terms and associated 3144 genes, 1,492 EC annotations, and 2621 metabolites. IDSL.GOA analysis of a case study of older versus young female brain cortex metabolome highlighted 82 GO terms being significantly overrepresented (FDR < 0.05). We showed how IDSL.GOA identified key and relevant GO metabolic processes that were not yet covered in other pathway databases. Overall, we suggest that interpretation of metabolite lists should not be limited to only pathway maps and can also leverage GO terms as well. IDSL.GOA provides a useful tool for this purpose, allowing for a more comprehensive and accurate analysis of metabolite pathway data. IDSL.GOA tool can be accessed at .

Original languageEnglish
Article number1299
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'IDSL.GOA: gene ontology analysis for interpreting metabolomic datasets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this