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Logo of bmcgenoBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Genomics
BMC Genomics. 2009; 10: 390.
Published online Aug 21, 2009. doi:  10.1186/1471-2164-10-390
PMCID: PMC2742552
The Lactamase Engineering Database: a critical survey of TEM sequences in public databases
Quan Ke Thai,1 Fabian Bös,1 and Jürgen Pleisscorresponding author1
1Institute of Technical Biochemistry, University of Stuttgart, Allmandring 31, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Quan Ke Thai: tkquan/at/; Fabian Bös: Fabian.Boes/at/; Jürgen Pleiss: Juergen.Pleiss/at/
Received March 30, 2009; Accepted August 21, 2009.
TEM β-lactamases are the main cause for resistance against β-lactam antibiotics. Sequence information about TEM β-lactamases is mainly found in the NCBI peptide database and TEM mutation table at While the TEM mutation table is manually curated by experts in the lactamase field, who guarantee reliable and consistent information, the rapidly growing sequence and annotation information from the NCBI peptide database is sometimes inconsistent. Therefore, the Lactamase Engineering Database has been developed to collect the TEM β-lactamase sequences from the NCBI peptide database and the TEM mutation table, systematically compare sequence information and naming, identify inconsistencies, and thus provide a versatile tool for reconciliation of data and for an investigation of the sequence-function relationship.
The LacED currently provides 2399 sequence entries and 37 structure entries. Sequence information on 150 different TEM β-lactamases was derived from the TEM mutation table which provides a unique number to each protein classified as TEM β-lactamase. 293 TEM-like proteins were found in the NCBI protein database, but only 113 TEM β-lactamase were common to both data sets. The 180 TEM β-lactamases from the NCBI protein database which have not yet been assigned to a TEM number fall in three classes: (1) 89 proteins from microbial organisms and 35 proteins from cloning or expression vectors had a new mutation profile; (2) 55 proteins had inconsistent annotation in terms of TEM assignment or reported mutation profile; (3) 39 proteins are fragments. The LacED is web accessible at and contains multisequence alignments, structure information and reconciled annotation of TEM β-lactamases. The LacED is weekly updated and supplies all data for download.
The Lactamase Engineering Database enables a systematic analysis of TEM β-lactamase sequence and annotation data from different data sources, and thus provides a valuable tool to identify inconsistencies in sequences from the NCBI peptide database, to detect TEM β-lactamases with a novel mutation profile, and to identify new amino acid positions at which mutations can occur.
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