Gene Set Pages

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Each gene set in the MSigDB (Molecular Signature Database) is fully described by a gene set page. From this web site, use the  MSigDB page to find a gene set. Click the gene set name to display its gene set page. Alternatively, from within the GSEA application, use the Browse MSigDB page to browse gene sets and display gene set pages.

Each gene set page contains the following information:


Gene Set Annotations

Standard name

Gene set name in the database. Gene sets can have their names changed after reviewing or to correct potential errors.

Systematic name

This serves to uniquely identify a gene set in MSigDB. Unlike standard names, systematic name never changes.

Brief description

A one sentence description of the gene set to convey "at a glance" information about gene sets. This description appears on the Browse MSigDB page of the GSEA application.

Full description or abstract

An extensive annotation of the gene set. For gene sets curated from publications, this field contains publication's abstract.


The collection that contains the gene set: Positional (C1), Curated (C2), Motif (C3), Computed (C4), GO (C5) or Oncogenic signatures (C6). In appropriate cases, this will also include the sub-collection hierarchy that contains the gene set. See the MSigDB Collections page for detailed descriptions of each collection.

Source publication

When available, a link to the source publication followed by a list of its authors.

Exact source

For gene sets curated from publications, this field indicates the exact source of a gene set in the publication (e.g., Table 1).

Related gene sets

Other gene sets (if any) from the same publication or from publications shared with at least one of the authors.

External links

When available, links to external websites with additional information about the gene set.


The organism that the experiment was conducted in.

Contributed by

Name of the person, institution, or external database (such as Reactome) who contributed the gene set.

Source platform

This field indicates kind of original members as they appeared in the gene set source. For microarray data, this often indicates microarray platform when original members are probe set IDs or other kind of platform specific identifiers. SEQ_ACCESSION indicates NCBI GenBank accession numbers.

Dataset references

GEO or ArrayExpress links for associated microarray data where appropriate.

Gene set actions

Download gene set

Links to download the gene set in different formats: GRP (group), TXT, GMT, GMX, or XML. For descriptions of each format, see Data Formats.

Annotate by computing overlaps

Displays the overlap (if any) between this gene set and the gene sets in the selected collection.

Compendia expression profiles

Produce a heat map showing how genes in this gene set are expressed in the selected compendium dataset.

Advanced query

Copies the genes in this gene set to the annotations page, where you can modify and/or further explore the gene set.

Gene families

: Displays a functional overview of this gene set by categorizing its members into a small number of gene families, where each gene family describes a collection of proteins that share a common feature such as homology or biochemical activity.

Inspecting gene set members

Show members

Toggle the Show (Hide) link show (hide) gene set members followed by links to external websites for gene-centric information.


Version history

Lists the history of this gene set (when it was introduced and any modifications) where available.

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