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Gene query service

This page describes the reference for MyGene.info gene query web service. It's also recommended to try it live on our interactive API page.

Service endpoint

http://mygene.info/v3/query

GET request

Query parameters

q

Required, passing user query. The detailed query syntax for parameter "q" we explained below.

fields

Optional, can be a comma-separated fields to limit the fields returned from the matching gene hits. The supported field names can be found from any gene object (e.g. gene 1017). Note that it supports dot notation as well, e.g., you can pass "refseq.rna". If "fields=all", all available fields will be returned. Default: "symbol,name,taxid,entrezgene".

species

Optional, can be used to limit the gene hits from given species. You can use "common names" for nine common species (human, mouse, rat, fruitfly, nematode, zebrafish, thale-cress, frog and pig). All other species, you can provide their taxonomy ids. See more details here. Multiple species can be passed using comma as a separator. Passing "all" will query against all available species. Default: all.

size

Optional, the maximum number of matching gene hits to return (with a cap of 1000 at the moment). Default: 10.

from

Optional, the number of matching gene hits to skip, starting from 0. Default: 0

Hint

The combination of "size" and "from" parameters can be used to get paging for large query:

q=cdk*&size=50                     first 50 hits
q=cdk*&size=50&from=50             the next 50 hits

fetch_all

Optional, a boolean, which when TRUE, allows fast retrieval of all unsorted query hits. The return object contains a _scroll_id field, which when passed as a parameter to the query endpoint, returns the next 1000 query results. Setting fetch_all = TRUE causes the results to be inherently unsorted, therefore the sort parameter is ignored. For more information see examples using fetch_all here. Default: FALSE.

scroll_id

Optional, a string containing the _scroll_id returned from a query request with fetch_all = TRUE. Supplying a valid scroll_id will return the next 1000 unordered results. If the next results are not obtained within 1 minute of the previous set of results, the scroll_id becomes stale, and a new one must be obtained with another query request with fetch_all = TRUE. All other parameters are ignored when the scroll_id parameter is supplied. For more information see examples using scroll_id here.

sort

Optional, the comma-separated fields to sort on. Prefix with "-" for descending order, otherwise in ascending order. Default: sort by matching scores in decending order.

facets

Optional, a single field or comma-separated fields to return facets, for example, "facets=taxid", "facets=taxid,type_of_gene". See examples of faceted queries here.

facet_size

Optional, an integer (1 <= facet_size <= 1000) that specifies how many buckets to ret

urn in a faceted query.

species_facet_filter

Optional, relevant when faceting on species (i.e., "facets=taxid" are passed). It's used to pass species filter without changing the scope of faceting, so that the returned facet counts won't change. Either species name or taxonomy id can be used, just like "species" parameter above. See examples of faceted queries here.

entrezonly

Optional, when passed as "true" or "1", the query returns only the hits with valid Entrez gene ids. Default: false.

ensemblonly

Optional, when passed as "true" or "1", the query returns only the hits with valid Ensembl gene ids. Default: false.

callback

Optional, you can pass a "callback" parameter to make a JSONP call.

dotfield

Optional, can be used to control the format of the returned gene object. If "dotfield" is true, the returned data object is returned flattened (no nested objects) using dotfield notation for key names. Default: false.

filter

Alias for "fields" parameter.

limit

Alias for "size" parameter.

skip

Alias for "from" parameter.

email

Optional, if you are regular users of our services, we encourage you to provide us an email, so that we can better track the usage or follow up with you.

Query syntax

Examples of query parameter "q":

Simple queries

search for everything:

q=cdk2                              search for any fields
q=tumor suppressor                  default as "AND" for all query terms
q="cyclin-dependent kinase"         search for the phrase

Fielded queries

q=entrezgene:1017
q=symbol:cdk2
q=refseq:NM_001798
Available fields

This table lists some commonly used fields can be used for "fielded queries". Check here for the complete list of available fields.

Field Description Examples
entrezgene Entrez gene id q=entrezgene:1017
ensembl.gene Ensembl gene id q=ensembl.gene:ENSG00000123374
symbol official gene symbol q=symbol:cdk2
name gene name q=name:cyclin-dependent
alias gene alias q=alias:p33
summary gene summary text q=summary:insulin
refseq NCBI RefSeq id (both rna and proteins) q=refseq:NM_001798
q=refseq:NP_439892
unigene NCBI UniGene id q=unigene:Hs.19192
homologene NCBI HomoloGene id q=homologene:74409
accession NCBI GeneBank Accession number q=accession:AA810989
ensembl.transcript Ensembl transcript id q=ensembl.transcript:ENST00000266970
ensembl.protein Ensembl protein id q=ensembl.protein:ENSP00000243067
uniprot UniProt id q=uniprot:P24941
ipi (deprecated!) IPI id q=ipi:IPI00031681
pdb PDB id q=pdb:1AQ1
prosite Prosite id q=prosite:PS50011
pfam PFam id q=pfam:PF00069
interpro InterPro id q=interpro:IPR008351
mim OMIM id q=mim:116953
pharmgkb PharmGKB id q=pharmgkb:PA101
reporter Affymetrix probeset id q=reporter:204252_at
reagent GNF reagent id q=reagent:GNF282834
go Gene Ontology id q=go:0000307
hgnc HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee q=hgnc:1771
hprd Human Protein Reference Database q=hprd:00310
mgi Mouse Genome Informatics q=mgi:MGI\\:88339
rgd Rat Genome Database q=rgd:620620
flybase A Database of Drosophila Genes & Genomes q=flybase:FBgn0004107&species=fruitfly
wormbase C elegans and related nematodes database q=wormbase:WBGene00057218&species=31234
zfin Zebrafish Information Network q=zfin:ZDB-GENE-980526-104&species=zebrafish
tair Arabidopsis Information Resource q=tair:AT3G48750&species=thale-cress
xenbase
Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis
biology and genomics resource
q=xenbase:XB-GENE-1001990&species=frog
mirbase
database of published miRNA
sequences and annotation
q=mirbase:MI0017267
retired
Retired Entrez gene id, including
those with replaced gene ids.
q=retired:84999

Genome interval query

When we detect your query ("q" parameter) contains a genome interval pattern like this one:

chrX:151,073,054-151,383,976

we will do the genome interval query for you. Besides above interval string, you also need to specify "species" parameter (with the default as human). These are all acceptted queries:

q=chrX:151073054-151383976&species:9606
q=chrX:151,073,054-151,383,976&species:human

Hint

As you can see above, the genomic locations can include commas in it.

.. seealso::

   `Genome assembly information <data.html#genome-assemblies>`_



Wildcard queries

Wildcard character "*" or "?" is supported in either simple queries or fielded queries:

q=CDK?                              single character wildcard
q=symbol:CDK?                       single character wildcard within "symbol" field
q=IL*R                              multiple character wildcard

Note

Wildcard character can not be the first character. It will be ignored.

Boolean operators and grouping

You can use AND/OR/NOT boolean operators and grouping to form complicated queries:

q=tumor AND suppressor                        AND operator
q=CDK2 OR BTK                                 OR operator
q="tumor suppressor" NOT receptor             NOT operator
q=(interleukin OR insulin) AND receptor       the use of parentheses

Returned object

A GET request like this:

http://mygene.info/v3/query?q=symbol:cdk2

should return hits as:

{
  "hits": [
    {
      "name": "cyclin-dependent kinase 2",
      "_score": 87.76775,
      "symbol": "CDK2",
      "taxid": 9606,
      "entrezgene": 1017,
      "_id": "1017"
    },
    {
      "name": "cyclin-dependent kinase 2",
      "_score": 79.480484,
      "symbol": "Cdk2",
      "taxid": 10090,
      "entrezgene": 12566,
      "_id": "12566"
    },
    {
      "name": "cyclin dependent kinase 2",
      "_score": 62.286797,
      "symbol": "Cdk2",
      "taxid": 10116,
      "entrezgene": 362817,
      "_id": "362817"
    }
  ],
  "total": 3,
  "max_score": 87.76775,
  "took": 4
}

Faceted queries

If you need to perform a faceted query, you can pass an optional "facets" parameter. For example, if you want to get the facets on species, you can pass "facets=taxid":

A GET request like this:

http://mygene.info/v3/query?q=cdk2&size=1&facets=taxid

should return hits as:

Another useful field to get facets on is "type_of_gene":

http://mygene.info/v3/query?q=cdk2&size=1&facets=type_of_gene

It should return hits as:

If you need to, you can also pass multiple fields as comma-separated list:

http://mygene.info/v3/query?q=cdk2&size=1&facets=taxid,type_of_gene

Particularly relevant to species facets (i.e., "facets=taxid"), you can pass a "species_facet_filter" parameter to filter the returned hits on a given species, without changing the scope of the facets (i.e. facet counts will not change). This is useful when you need to get the subset of the hits for a given species after the initial faceted query on species.

You can see the different "hits" are returned in the following queries, while "facets" keeps the same:

http://mygene.info/v3/query?q=cdk?&size=1&facets=taxid&species_facet_filter=human

v.s.

http://mygene.info/v3/query?q=cdk?&size=1&facets=taxid&species_facet_filter=mouse

Scrolling queries

If you want to return ALL results of a very large query (>10,000 results), sometimes the paging method described above can take too long. In these cases, you can use a scrolling query. This is a two-step process that turns off database sorting to allow very fast retrieval of all query results. To begin a scrolling query, you first call the query endpoint as you normally would, but with an extra parameter fetch_all = TRUE. For example, a GET request to:

http://mygene.info/v3/query?q=brain&fetch_all=TRUE

Returns the following object:

{
  "_scroll_id": "cXVlcnlUaGVuRmV0Y2g7MTA7MjA1NjY1MzMwOl9HM29rRkg2VFZ5S1c3cTJtYkI4RHc7MjA1NjY1MjY3OlM0V1VCa194UWdLYjlQWTR5NGZCeFE7MjA1NjY1MTM0OlRGWVpXLVZrU2NTWmZLQUlEVnlRRkE7MjA1NjY1MzMxOl9HM29rRkg2VFZ5S1c3cTJtYkI4RHc7MzEyMDY0NzU6TVBZd0FEVF9UcVdSQWhWajlfN2U4ZzsyMDU2NjUxMzM6VEZZWlctVmtTY1NaZktBSURWeVFGQTsyMDU2NjUxMzU6VEZZWlctVmtTY1NaZktBSURWeVFGQTsyMDU2NjUzMzI6X0czb2tGSDZUVnlLVzdxMm1iQjhEdzsyMDU2NjUyNjg6UzRXVUJrX3hRZ0tiOVBZNHk0ZkJ4UTszMTIwNjQ3NDpNUFl3QURUX1RxV1JBaFZqOV83ZThnOzA7",
  "max_score": 13.958638,
  "took": 270,
  "total": 14571,
  "hits": [
    {
      "_id": "390259",
      "_score": 13.958638,
      "entrezgene": 390259,
      "name": "brain specific homeobox",
      "symbol": "BSX",
      "taxid": 9606
    },
    .
    .
    .
  ]
}

At this point, the first 1000 hits have been returned (of ~14,000 total), and a scroll has been set up for your query. To get the next batch of 1000 unordered results, simply execute a GET request to the following address, supplying the _scroll_id from the first step into the scroll_id parameter in the second step:

http://mygene.info/v3/query?scroll_id=cXVlcnlUaGVuRmV0Y2g7MTA7MjA1NjY1MzMwOl9HM29rRkg2VFZ5S1c3cTJtYkI4RHc7MjA1NjY1MjY3OlM0V1VCa194UWdLYjlQWTR5NGZCeFE7MjA1NjY1MTM0OlRGWVpXLVZrU2NTWmZLQUlEVnlRRkE7MjA1NjY1MzMxOl9HM29rRkg2VFZ5S1c3cTJtYkI4RHc7MzEyMDY0NzU6TVBZd0FEVF9UcVdSQWhWajlfN2U4ZzsyMDU2NjUxMzM6VEZZWlctVmtTY1NaZktBSURWeVFGQTsyMDU2NjUxMzU6VEZZWlctVmtTY1NaZktBSURWeVFGQTsyMDU2NjUzMzI6X0czb2tGSDZUVnlLVzdxMm1iQjhEdzsyMDU2NjUyNjg6UzRXVUJrX3hRZ0tiOVBZNHk0ZkJ4UTszMTIwNjQ3NDpNUFl3QURUX1RxV1JBaFZqOV83ZThnOzA7

Hint

Your scroll will remain active for 1 minute from the last time you requested results from it. If your scroll expires before you get the last batch of results, you must re-request the scroll_id by setting fetch_all = TRUE as in step 1.

Batch queries via POST

Although making simple GET requests above to our gene query service is sufficient in most of use cases, there are some cases you might find it's more efficient to make queries in a batch (e.g., retrieving gene annotation for multiple genes). Fortunately, you can also make batch queries via POST requests when you need:

URL: http://mygene.info/v3/query
HTTP method:  POST

Query parameters

q

Required, multiple query terms seperated by comma (also support "+" or white space), but no wildcard, e.g., 'q=1017,1018' or 'q=CDK2+BTK'

scopes

Optional, specify one or more fields (separated by comma) as the search "scopes", e.g., "scopes=entrezgene", "scopes=entrezgene,ensemblgene". The available "fields" can be passed to "scopes" parameter are :ref:`listed above <available_fields>`. Default: "scopes=entrezgene,ensemblgene,retired" (either Entrez or Ensembl gene ids).

species

Optional, can be used to limit the gene hits from given species. You can use "common names" for nine common species (human, mouse, rat, fruitfly, nematode, zebrafish, thale-cress, frog and pig). All other species, you can provide their taxonomy ids. See more details here. Multiple species can be passed using comma as a separator. Default: all.

fields

Optional, can be a comma-separated fields to limit the fields returned from the matching gene hits. The supported field names can be found from any gene object (e.g. gene 1017). Note that it supports dot notation as well, e.g., you can pass "refseq.rna". If "fields=all", all available fields will be returned. Default: "symbol,name,taxid,entrezgene".

dotfield

Optional, can be used to control the format of the returned fields when passed "fields" parameter contains dot notation, e.g. "fields=refseq.rna". If "dofield" is true, the returned data object contains a single "refseq.rna" field, otherwise, a single "refseq" field with a sub-field of "rna". Default: false.

email

Optional, if you are regular users of our services, we encourage you to provide us an email, so that we can better track the usage or follow up with you.

Example code

Unlike GET requests, you can easily test them from browser, make a POST request is often done via a piece of code. Here is a sample python snippet:

import requests
headers = {'content-type': 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded'}
params = 'q=1017,1018&scopes=entrezgene&fields=name,symbol,taxid,entrezgene'
res = requests.post('http://mygene.info/v3/query', data=params, headers=headers)

Returned object

Returned result (the value of "res.text" variable above) from above example code should look like this:

[
  {
    '_id': '1017',
    '_score': 22.757837,
    'entrezgene': 1017,
    'name': 'cyclin dependent kinase 2',
    'query': '1017',
    'symbol': 'CDK2',
    'taxid': 9606
  },
  {
    '_id': '1018',
    '_score': 22.757782,
    'entrezgene': 1018,
    'name': 'cyclin dependent kinase 3',
    'query': '1018',
    'symbol': 'CDK3',
    'taxid': 9606
  }
]

Tip

"query" field in returned object indicates the matching query term.

Note

if no "fields" parameter is specified, all available fields will be returned

If a query term has no match, it will return with "notfound" field as "true":

params = 'q=1017,dummy&scopes=entrezgene&fields=name,symbol,taxid,entrezgene'
res = requests.post('http://mygene.info/v3/query', data=params, headers=headers)

If a query term has multiple matches, they will be included with the same "query" field:

params = 'q=tp53,1017&scopes=symbol,entrezgene&fields=name,symbol,taxid,entrezgene'
res = requests.post('http://mygene.info/v3/query', data=params, headers=headers)