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Databases And Computational Approaches

There is an ever-increasing number of protein and proteome databases being developed. The most comprehensive information about specific proteins is found in databases that store protein sequences. One of the first and probably the best known such database is SWISS-PROT, which was created in 1986.

SWISS-PROT is a curated database that provides not only protein sequences but also such information as descriptions of a protein's function, its domain structure, and post-translational modifications, as well as links to other related databases. Other sequence-based protein databases include the Yeast Proteome Database and Human PSD.

There are also a number of widely used pattern and profile databases that are used to reveal relationships among proteins based on the presence of particular groups of amino acids in the proteins' sequences. Such groups, known as patterns, motifs, domains, signatures, or fingerprints, are found in specific regions of proteins that are important to some function of the protein. They could be in an area that performs some type of enzymatic activity or that is the site of a certain post-translational modification. Both their sequence and structure are typically well conserved. Some of the best known pattern and profile databases are: PROSITE, Pfam, PRINTS, and BLOCKS.

Anthony J. Recupero


Wilkins, Marc R., et al. eds. Proteome Research: New Frontiers in Functional Genomics.New York: Springer-Verlag, 1997.

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Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 3Proteomics - Laboratory Techniques, Databases And Computational Approaches