51 posts

UniChem: extension of InChI-based compound mapping to salt, connectivity and stereochemistry layers


UniChem is a low-maintenance, fast and freely available compound identifier mapping service, recently made available on the Internet. Until now, the criterion of molecular equivalence within UniChem has been on the basis of complete identity between Standard InChIs. However, a limitation of this approach is that stereoisomers, isotopes and salts of otherwise identical molecules are not considered as related. Here, we describe how we have exploited the layered structural representation of the Standard InChI to create new functionality within UniChem that integrates these related
molecular forms. The service, called ‘Connectivity Search’ allows molecules to be first matched on the basis of complete identity between the connectivity layer of their corresponding Standard InChIs, and the remaining layers then compared to highlight stereochemical and isotopic differences. Parsing of Standard InChI sub-layers permits mixtures and salts to also be included in this integration process. Implementation of these enhancements required simple modifications to the schema, loader and web application, but none of which have changed the original UniChem functionality or services. The scope of queries may be varied using a variety of easily configurable options, and the output is annotated to assist the user to filter, sort and understand the difference between query and retrieved structures. A RESTful web service output may be easily processed programmatically to allow developers to present the data in whatever form they believe their users will require, or to define their own level of molecular equivalence for their resource, albeit within the constraint of identical connectivity.

On InChI and Evaluating the Quality of Cross-reference Links


Background: There are many databases of small molecules focused on different aspects of research and its applications. Some tasks may require integration of information from various databases. However, determining which entries from different databases represent the same compound is not straightforward. Integration can be based, for example, on automatically generated cross-reference links between entries. Another approach is to use the manually curated links stored directly in databases. This study employs well-established InChI identifiers to measure the consistency and completeness of the manually curated links by comparing them with the automatically generated ones.

Results: We used two different tools to generate InChI identifiers and observed some ambiguities in their outputs. In part, these ambiguities were caused by indistinctness in interpretation of the structural data used. InChI identifiers were used successfully to find duplicate entries in databases. We found that the InChI inconsistencies in the manually curated links are very high (28.85% in the worst case). Even using a weaker definition of consistency, the measured values were very high in general. The completeness of the manually curated links was also very poor (only 93.8% in the best case) compared with that of the automatically generated links.

Conclusions: We observed several problems with the InChI tools and the files used as their inputs. There are large gaps in the consistency and completeness of manually curated links if they are measured using InChI identifiers. However, inconsistency can be caused both by errors in manually curated links and the inherent limitations of the InChI method.



IUPAC Standards Online is a database built from IUPAC’s (The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) standards and recommendations, which are extracted from the journal Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC).

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is the organization responsible for setting the standards in chemistry that are internationally binding for scientists in industry and academia, patent lawyers, toxicologists, environmental scientists, legislation, etc. “Standards” are definitions of terms, standard values, procedures, rules for naming compounds and materials, names and properties of elements in the periodic table, and many more.

The database will be the only product that provides for the quick and easy search and retrieval of IUPAC’s standards and recommendations which until now have remained unsorted within the huge Pure and Applied Chemistry archive.

Covered topics:

Analytical Chemistry
Chemical Safety
Data Management
Environmental Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Medicinal Chemistry
Nomenclature and Terminology
Nuclear Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Theoretical & Computational Chemistry

Current Status and Future Development in Relation to IUPAC Activities


The IUPAC International Chemical Identifier (InChI) is a non-proprietary, machine-readable chemical structure representation format enabling electronic searching, and interlinking and combining, of chemical information from different sources. It was developed from 2001 onwards at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology under the auspices of IUPAC’s Chemical Identifier project. Since 2009, the InChI Trust, a consortium of (mostly) publishers and software developers, has taken over responsibility for funding and oversight of InChI maintenance and development. Funding and responsibility for scientific aspects of InChI development remain with the IUPAC Division VIII (Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation) and InChI Subcommittee.

Application of InChI to curate, index, and query 3-D structures


The HIV structural database (HIVSDB) is a comprehensive collection of the structures of HIV protease, both of unliganded enzyme and of its inhibitor complexes. It contains abstracts and crystallographic data such as inhibitor and protein coordinates for 248 data sets, of which only 141 are from the Protein Data Bank (PDB). Efficient annotation, indexing, and querying of the inhibitor data is crucial for their effective use for technological and industrial applications. The application of IUPAC International Chemical Identifier (InChI) to index, curate, and query inhibitor structures HIVSDB is described. Proteins 2005. Published 2005 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Additive InChI-based optimal descriptors: QSPR modeling of fullerene C60 solubility in organic solvents


Optimal descriptors calculated with International Chemical Identifier (InChI) have been used to construct one-variable model of the solubility of fullerene C60 in organic solvents . Attempts to calculate the model for three splits into training and test sets gave stable results.

International Chemical Identifier for Reactions (RInChI)

This May 2018 open access Journal of Cheminformatics article by Guenter Grethe et al., describes the first official version (RInChI-V1.00) that was released in March of 2017 and is available for download at the InChI Trust (

RInChI provides a standard for the representation of chemical reactions . As different databases use different methods for representing chemical reactions the adoption of RInChI and the ability to transform other representations into RInChI should allow for more thorough discovery across different databases of information related to chemical reactions. This article discusses the layers of the RInChI, the InChIKey and the Web-InChIKey. It also describes generation of RInChI from RD and RXN files, and the generation of RXN from RInChI. A database of over a million RInChI at the University of Cambridge is also described, .