A large variety of molecular interactions occurs between biomolecular components in cells. When one or a cascade of molecular interactions results in a regulatory effect, by one component onto a downstream component, a so-called ‘causal interaction’ takes place. Causal interactions constitute the building blocks in our understanding of larger regulatory networks in cells. These causal interactions and the biological processes they enable (e.g., gene regulation) need to be described with a careful appreciation of molecular interactions that occur between entities. A proper description of this information enables archiving, sharing, and reuse by humans and for computational science. Various representations of causal relationships between biological components are currently used in a variety of resources. Here, we propose a checklist that accommodates current representations, and call it the Minimum Information about a Molecular Interaction CAusal STatement (MI2CAST). This checklist defines both the required core information, as well as a comprehensive set of other contextual details valuable to the end user and relevant for reusing and reproducing causal molecular interaction information. The MI2CAST checklist can be used as reporting guidelines when annotating and curating causal statements, while assuring uniformity and interoperability of the data across resources.
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