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1.  The InterPro protein families database: the classification resource after 15 years 
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;43(Database issue):D213-D221.
The InterPro database ( is a freely available resource that can be used to classify sequences into protein families and to predict the presence of important domains and sites. Central to the InterPro database are predictive models, known as signatures, from a range of different protein family databases that have different biological focuses and use different methodological approaches to classify protein families and domains. InterPro integrates these signatures, capitalizing on the respective strengths of the individual databases, to produce a powerful protein classification resource. Here, we report on the status of InterPro as it enters its 15th year of operation, and give an overview of new developments with the database and its associated Web interfaces and software. In particular, the new domain architecture search tool is described and the process of mapping of Gene Ontology terms to InterPro is outlined. We also discuss the challenges faced by the resource given the explosive growth in sequence data in recent years. InterPro (version 48.0) contains 36 766 member database signatures integrated into 26 238 InterPro entries, an increase of over 3993 entries (5081 signatures), since 2012.
PMCID: PMC4383996  PMID: 25428371
2.  InterPro, progress and status in 2005 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;33(Database Issue):D201-D205.
InterPro, an integrated documentation resource of protein families, domains and functional sites, was created to integrate the major protein signature databases. Currently, it includes PROSITE, Pfam, PRINTS, ProDom, SMART, TIGRFAMs, PIRSF and SUPERFAMILY. Signatures are manually integrated into InterPro entries that are curated to provide biological and functional information. Annotation is provided in an abstract, Gene Ontology mapping and links to specialized databases. New features of InterPro include extended protein match views, taxonomic range information and protein 3D structure data. One of the new match views is the InterPro Domain Architecture view, which shows the domain composition of protein matches. Two new entry types were introduced to better describe InterPro entries: these are active site and binding site. PIRSF and the structure-based SUPERFAMILY are the latest member databases to join InterPro, and CATH and PANTHER are soon to be integrated. InterPro release 8.0 contains 11 007 entries, representing 2573 domains, 8166 families, 201 repeats, 26 active sites, 21 binding sites and 20 post-translational modification sites. InterPro covers over 78% of all proteins in the Swiss-Prot and TrEMBL components of UniProt. The database is available for text- and sequence-based searches via a webserver (, and for download by anonymous FTP (
PMCID: PMC540060  PMID: 15608177
3.  The InterPro Database, 2003 brings increased coverage and new features 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(1):315-318.
InterPro, an integrated documentation resource of protein families, domains and functional sites, was created in 1999 as a means of amalgamating the major protein signature databases into one comprehensive resource. PROSITE, Pfam, PRINTS, ProDom, SMART and TIGRFAMs have been manually integrated and curated and are available in InterPro for text- and sequence-based searching. The results are provided in a single format that rationalises the results that would be obtained by searching the member databases individually. The latest release of InterPro contains 5629 entries describing 4280 families, 1239 domains, 95 repeats and 15 post-translational modifications. Currently, the combined signatures in InterPro cover more than 74% of all proteins in SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL, an increase of nearly 15% since the inception of InterPro. New features of the database include improved searching capabilities and enhanced graphical user interfaces for visualisation of the data. The database is available via a webserver ( and anonymous FTP (
PMCID: PMC165493  PMID: 12520011
4.  Manual GO annotation of predictive protein signatures: the InterPro approach to GO curation 
InterPro amalgamates predictive protein signatures from a number of well-known partner databases into a single resource. To aid with interpretation of results, InterPro entries are manually annotated with terms from the Gene Ontology (GO). The InterPro2GO mappings are comprised of the cross-references between these two resources and are the largest source of GO annotation predictions for proteins. Here, we describe the protocol by which InterPro curators integrate GO terms into the InterPro database. We discuss the unique challenges involved in integrating specific GO terms with entries that may describe a diverse set of proteins, and we illustrate, with examples, how InterPro hierarchies reflect GO terms of increasing specificity. We describe a revised protocol for GO mapping that enables us to assign GO terms to domains based on the function of the individual domain, rather than the function of the families in which the domain is found. We also discuss how taxonomic constraints are dealt with and those cases where we are unable to add any appropriate GO terms. Expert manual annotation of InterPro entries with GO terms enables users to infer function, process or subcellular information for uncharacterized sequences based on sequence matches to predictive models.
Database URL: The complete InterPro2GO mappings are available at:
PMCID: PMC3270475  PMID: 22301074
5.  The InterPro BioMart: federated query and web service access to the InterPro Resource 
The InterPro BioMart provides users with query-optimized access to predictions of family classification, protein domains and functional sites, based on a broad spectrum of integrated computational models (‘signatures’) that are generated by the InterPro member databases: Gene3D, HAMAP, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF, PRINTS, ProDom, PROSITE, SMART, SUPERFAMILY and TIGRFAMs. These predictions are provided for all protein sequences from both the UniProt Knowledge Base and the UniParc protein sequence archive. The InterPro BioMart is supplementary to the primary InterPro web interface (, providing a web service and the ability to build complex, custom queries that can efficiently return thousands of rows of data in a variety of formats. This article describes the information available from the InterPro BioMart and illustrates its utility with examples of how to build queries that return useful biological information.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC3170169  PMID: 21785143
6.  InterPro: the integrative protein signature database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;37(Database issue):D211-D215.
The InterPro database ( integrates together predictive models or ‘signatures’ representing protein domains, families and functional sites from multiple, diverse source databases: Gene3D, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF, PRINTS, ProDom, PROSITE, SMART, SUPERFAMILY and TIGRFAMs. Integration is performed manually and approximately half of the total ∼58 000 signatures available in the source databases belong to an InterPro entry. Recently, we have started to also display the remaining un-integrated signatures via our web interface. Other developments include the provision of non-signature data, such as structural data, in new XML files on our FTP site, as well as the inclusion of matchless UniProtKB proteins in the existing match XML files. The web interface has been extended and now links out to the ADAN predicted protein–protein interaction database and the SPICE and Dasty viewers. The latest public release (v18.0) covers 79.8% of UniProtKB (v14.1) and consists of 16 549 entries. InterPro data may be accessed either via the web address above, via web services, by downloading files by anonymous FTP or by using the InterProScan search software (
PMCID: PMC2686546  PMID: 18940856
7.  The InterPro database, an integrated documentation resource for protein families, domains and functional sites 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(1):37-40.
Signature databases are vital tools for identifying distant relationships in novel sequences and hence for inferring protein function. InterPro is an integrated documentation resource for protein families, domains and functional sites, which amalgamates the efforts of the PROSITE, PRINTS, Pfam and ProDom database projects. Each InterPro entry includes a functional description, annotation, literature references and links back to the relevant member database(s). Release 2.0 of InterPro (October 2000) contains over 3000 entries, representing families, domains, repeats and sites of post-translational modification encoded by a total of 6804 different regular expressions, profiles, fingerprints and Hidden Markov Models. Each InterPro entry lists all the matches against SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL (more than 1 000 000 hits from 462 500 proteins in SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL). The database is accessible for text- and sequence-based searches at Questions can be emailed to
PMCID: PMC29841  PMID: 11125043
8.  Proteome Analysis Database: online application of InterPro and CluSTr for the functional classification of proteins in whole genomes 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(1):44-48.
The SWISS-PROT group at EBI has developed the Proteome Analysis Database utilising existing resources and providing comparative analysis of the predicted protein coding sequences of the complete genomes of bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes ( The two main projects used, InterPro and CluSTr, give a new perspective on families, domains and sites and cover 31–67% (InterPro statistics) of the proteins from each of the complete genomes. CluSTr covers the three complete eukaryotic genomes and the incomplete human genome data. The Proteome Analysis Database is accompanied by a program that has been designed to carry out InterPro proteome comparisons for any one proteome against any other one or more of the proteomes in the database.
PMCID: PMC29822  PMID: 11125045
9.  The Proteome Analysis database: a tool for the in silico analysis of whole proteomes 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(1):414-417.
The Proteome Analysis database ( has been developed by the Sequence Database Group at EBI utilizing existing resources and providing comparative analysis of the predicted protein coding sequences of the complete genomes of bacteria, archeae and eukaryotes. Three main projects are used, InterPro, CluSTr and GO Slim, to give an overview on families, domains, sites, and functions of the proteins from each of the complete genomes. Complete proteome analysis is available for a total of 89 proteome sets. A specifically designed application enables InterPro proteome comparisons for any one proteome against any other one or more of the proteomes in the database.
PMCID: PMC165552  PMID: 12520037
10.  New developments in the InterPro database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(Database issue):D224-D228.
InterPro is an integrated resource for protein families, domains and functional sites, which integrates the following protein signature databases: PROSITE, PRINTS, ProDom, Pfam, SMART, TIGRFAMs, PIRSF, SUPERFAMILY, Gene3D and PANTHER. The latter two new member databases have been integrated since the last publication in this journal. There have been several new developments in InterPro, including an additional reading field, new database links, extensions to the web interface and additional match XML files. InterPro has always provided matches to UniProtKB proteins on the website and in the match XML file on the FTP site. Additional matches to proteins in UniParc (UniProt archive) are now available for download in the new match XML files only. The latest InterPro release (13.0) contains more than 13 000 entries, covering over 78% of all proteins in UniProtKB. The database is available for text- and sequence-based searches via a webserver (), and for download by anonymous FTP (). The InterProScan search tool is now also available via a web service at .
PMCID: PMC1899100  PMID: 17202162
11.  GFam: a platform for automatic annotation of gene families 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(19):e152.
We have developed GFam, a platform for automatic annotation of gene/protein families. GFam provides a framework for genome initiatives and model organism resources to build domain-based families, derive meaningful functional labels and offers a seamless approach to propagate functional annotation across periodic genome updates. GFam is a hybrid approach that uses a greedy algorithm to chain component domains from InterPro annotation provided by its 12 member resources followed by a sequence-based connected component analysis of un-annotated sequence regions to derive consensus domain architecture for each sequence and subsequently generate families based on common architectures. Our integrated approach increases sequence coverage by 7.2 percentage points and residue coverage by 14.6 percentage points higher than the coverage relative to the best single-constituent database within InterPro for the proteome of Arabidopsis. The true power of GFam lies in maximizing annotation provided by the different InterPro data sources that offer resource-specific coverage for different regions of a sequence. GFam’s capability to capture higher sequence and residue coverage can be useful for genome annotation, comparative genomics and functional studies. GFam is a general-purpose software and can be used for any collection of protein sequences. The software is open source and can be obtained from
PMCID: PMC3479161  PMID: 22790981
12.  CluSTr: a database of clusters of SWISS-PROT+TrEMBL proteins 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(1):33-36.
The CluSTr (Clusters of SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL proteins) database offers an automatic classification of SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL proteins into groups of related proteins. The clustering is based on analysis of all pairwise comparisons between protein sequences. Analysis has been carried out for different levels of protein similarity, yielding a hierarchical organisation of clusters. The database provides links to InterPro, which integrates information on protein families, domains and functional sites from PROSITE, PRINTS, Pfam and ProDom. Links to the InterPro graphical interface allow users to see at a glance whether proteins from the cluster share particular functional sites. CluSTr also provides cross-references to HSSP and PDB. The database is available for querying and browsing at
PMCID: PMC29804  PMID: 11125042
13.  OikoBase: a genomics and developmental transcriptomics resource for the urochordate Oikopleura dioica 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(Database issue):D845-D853.
We report the development of OikoBase (, a tiling array-based genome browser resource for Oikopleura dioica, a metazoan belonging to the urochordates, the closest extant group to vertebrates. OikoBase facilitates retrieval and mining of a variety of useful genomics information. First, it includes a genome browser which interrogates 1260 genomic sequence scaffolds and features gene, transcript and CDS annotation tracks. Second, we annotated gene models with gene ontology (GO) terms and InterPro domains which are directly accessible in the browser with links to their entries in the GO ( and InterPro ( databases, and we provide transcript and peptide links for sequence downloads. Third, we introduce the transcriptomics of a comprehensive set of developmental stages of O. dioica at high resolution and provide downloadable gene expression data for all developmental stages. Fourth, we incorporate a BLAST tool to identify homologs of genes and proteins. Finally, we include a tutorial that describes how to use OikoBase as well as a link to detailed methods, explaining the data generation and analysis pipeline. OikoBase will provide a valuable resource for research in chordate development, genome evolution and plasticity and the molecular ecology of this important marine planktonic organism.
PMCID: PMC3531137  PMID: 23185044
14.  InterPro (The Integrated Resource of Protein Domains and Functional Sites) 
Yeast (Chichester, England)  2000;17(4):327-334.
The family and motif databases, PROSITE, PRINTS, Pfam and ProDom, have been integrated into a powerful resource for protein secondary annotation. As of June 2000, InterPro had processed 384 572 proteins in SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL. Because the contributing databases have different clustering principles and scoring sensitivities, the combined assignments compliment each other for grouping protein families and delineating domains. The graphic displays of all matches above the scoring thresholds enables judgements to be made on the concordances or differences between the assignments. The website links can be used to analyse novel sequences and for queries across the proteomes of 32 organisms, including the partial human set, by domain and/or protein family. An analysis of selected HtrA/DegQ proteases demonstrates the utility of this website for detailed comparative genomics. Further information on the project can be found at the European Bioinformatics Institute at
PMCID: PMC2448387  PMID: 11119311
15.  GO annotation in InterPro: why stability does not indicate accuracy in a sea of changing annotations 
The removal of annotation from biological databases is often perceived as an indicator of erroneous annotation. As a corollary, annotation stability is considered to be a measure of reliability. However, diverse data-driven events can affect the stability of annotations in both primary protein sequence databases and the protein family databases that are built upon the sequence databases and used to help annotate them. Here, we describe some of these events and their consequences for the InterPro database, and demonstrate that annotation removal or reassignment is not always linked to incorrect annotation by the curator.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC4799721  PMID: 26994912
16.  The 2012 Nucleic Acids Research Database Issue and the online Molecular Biology Database Collection 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;40(Database issue):D1-D8.
The 19th annual Database Issue of Nucleic Acids Research features descriptions of 92 new online databases covering various areas of molecular biology and 100 papers describing recent updates to the databases previously described in NAR and other journals. The highlights of this issue include, among others, a description of neXtProt, a knowledgebase on human proteins; a detailed explanation of the principles behind the NCBI Taxonomy Database; NCBI and EBI papers on the recently launched BioSample databases that store sample information for a variety of database resources; descriptions of the recent developments in the Gene Ontology and UniProt Gene Ontology Annotation projects; updates on Pfam, SMART and InterPro domain databases; update papers on KEGG and TAIR, two universally acclaimed databases that face an uncertain future; and a separate section with 10 wiki-based databases, introduced in an accompanying editorial. The NAR online Molecular Biology Database Collection, available at, has been updated and now lists 1380 databases. Brief machine-readable descriptions of the databases featured in this issue, according to the BioDBcore standards, will be provided at the web site. The full content of the Database Issue is freely available online on the Nucleic Acids Research web site (
PMCID: PMC3245068  PMID: 22144685
17.  SIMAP—structuring the network of protein similarities 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;36(Database issue):D289-D292.
Protein sequences are the most important source of evolutionary and functional information for new proteins. In order to facilitate the computationally intensive tasks of sequence analysis, the Similarity Matrix of Proteins (SIMAP) database aims to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date dataset of the pre-calculated sequence similarity matrix and sequence-based features like InterPro domains for all proteins contained in the major public sequence databases. As of September 2007, SIMAP covers ∼17 million proteins and more than 6 million non-redundant sequences and provides a complete annotation based on InterPro 16. Novel features of SIMAP include a new, portlet-based web portal providing multiple, structured views on retrieved proteins and integration of protein clusters and a unique search method for similar domain architectures. Access to SIMAP is freely provided for academic use through the web portal for individuals at through Web Services for programmatic access at
PMCID: PMC2238827  PMID: 18037617
18.  The EMBL-EBI bioinformatics web and programmatic tools framework 
Nucleic Acids Research  2015;43(Web Server issue):W580-W584.
Since 2009 the EMBL-EBI Job Dispatcher framework has provided free access to a range of mainstream sequence analysis applications. These include sequence similarity search services ( such as BLAST, FASTA and PSI-Search, multiple sequence alignment tools ( such as Clustal Omega, MAFFT and T-Coffee, and other sequence analysis tools ( such as InterProScan. Through these services users can search mainstream sequence databases such as ENA, UniProt and Ensembl Genomes, utilising a uniform web interface or systematically through Web Services interfaces ( using common programming languages, and obtain enriched results with novel visualisations. Integration with EBI Search ( and the dbfetch retrieval service ( further expands the usefulness of the framework. New tools and updates such as NCBI BLAST+, InterProScan 5 and PfamScan, new categories such as RNA analysis tools (, new databases such as ENA non-coding, WormBase ParaSite, Pfam and Rfam, and new workflow methods, together with the retirement of depreciated services, ensure that the framework remains relevant to today's biological community.
PMCID: PMC4489272  PMID: 25845596
19.  GreenPhylDB: a database for plant comparative genomics 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;36(Database issue):D991-D998.
GreenPhylDB ( is a comprehensive platform designed to facilitate comparative functional genomics in Oryza sativa and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes. The main functions of GreenPhylDB are to assign O. sativa and A. thaliana sequences to gene families using a semi-automatic clustering procedure and to create ‘orthologous’ groups using a phylogenomic approach. To date, GreenPhylDB comprises the most complete list of plant gene families, which have been manually curated (6421 families). GreenPhylDB also contains all of the phylogenomic relationships computed for 4375 families. A total of 492 TAIR, 1903 InterPro and 981 KEGG families and subfamilies were manually curated using the clusters created with the TribeMCL software. GreenPhylDB integrates information from several other databases including UniProt, KEGG, InterPro, TAIR and TIGR. Several entry points can be used to display phylogenomic relationships for A. thaliana or O. sativa sequences, using TAIR, TIGR gene ID, family name, InterPro, gene alias, UniProt or protein/nucleic sequence. Finally, a powerful phylogenomics tool, GreenPhyl Ortholog Search Tool (GOST), was incorporated into GreenPhylDB to predict orthologous relationships between O. sativa/A. thaliana protein(s) and sequences from other plant species.
PMCID: PMC2238940  PMID: 17986457
20.  Integr8 and Genome Reviews: integrated views of complete genomes and proteomes 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;33(Database Issue):D297-D302.
Integr8 is a new web portal for exploring the biology of organisms with completely deciphered genomes. For over 190 species, Integr8 provides access to general information, recent publications, and a detailed statistical overview of the genome and proteome of the organism. The preparation of this analysis is supported through Genome Reviews, a new database of bacterial and archaeal DNA sequences in which annotation has been upgraded (compared to the original submission) through the integration of data from many sources, including the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database, the UniProt Knowledgebase, InterPro, CluSTr, GOA and HOGENOM. Integr8 also allows the users to customize their own interactive analysis, and to download both customized and prepared datasets for their own use. Integr8 is available at
PMCID: PMC539993  PMID: 15608201
21.  Java GUI for InterProScan (JIPS): A tool to help process multiple InterProScans and perform ortholog analysis 
BMC Bioinformatics  2006;7:462.
Recent, rapid growth in the quantity of available genomic data has generated many protein sequences that are not yet biochemically classified. Thus, the prediction of biochemical function based on structural motifs is an important task in post-genomic analysis. The InterPro databases are a major resource for protein function information. For optimal results, these databases should be searched at regular intervals, since they are frequently updated.
We describe here a new program JIPS (Java GUI for InterProScan), a tool for tracking and viewing results obtained from repeated InterProScan searches. JIPS stores matches (in a local database) obtained from InterProScan searches performed with multiple versions of the InterPro database and highlights hits that have been added since the last search of the InterPro database. Results are displayed in an easy-to-use tabular format. JIPS also contains tools to assist with ortholog-based comparative studies of protein signatures.
JIPS is an efficient tool for performing repeated InterProScans on large batches of protein sequences, tracking and viewing search results, and mining the collected data.
PMCID: PMC1626093  PMID: 17054794
22.  Improvements to CluSTr: the database of SWISS-PROT+TrEMBL protein clusters 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(1):388-389.
The CluSTr database ( offers an automatic classification of SWISS-PROT+TrEMBL proteins into groups of related proteins. The clustering is based on analysis of all pair-wise sequence comparisons between proteins using the Smith–Waterman algorithm. The analysis, carried out on different levels of protein similarity, yields a hierarchical organization of clusters. Information about domain content of the clustered proteins is provided via the InterPro resource. The introduced InterPro ‘condensed graphical view’ simplifies the visual analysis of represented domain architectures. Integrated applications allow users to visualize and edit multiple alignments and build sequence divergence trees. Links to the relevant structural data in Protein Data Bank (PDB) and Homology derived Secondary Structure of Proteins (HSSP) are also provided.
PMCID: PMC165482  PMID: 12520029
23.  ADDA: a domain database with global coverage of the protein universe 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;33(Database Issue):D188-D191.
We used the Automatic Domain Decomposition Algorithm (ADDA) to generate a database of protein domain families with complete coverage of all protein sequences. Sequences are split into domains and domains are grouped into protein domain families in a completely automated process. The current database contains domains for more than 1.5 million sequences in more than 40 000 domain families. In particular, there are 3828 novel domain families that do not overlap with the curated domain databases Pfam, SCOP and InterPro. The data are freely available for downloading and querying via a web interface (
PMCID: PMC540050  PMID: 15608174
24.  The Proteomics Identifications database: 2010 update 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;38(Database issue):D736-D742.
The Proteomics Identifications database (PRIDE, at the European Bioinformatics Institute has become one of the main repositories of mass spectrometry-derived proteomics data. For the last 2 years, PRIDE data holdings have grown substantially, comprising 60 different species, more than 2.5 million protein identifications, 11.5 million peptides and over 50 million spectra by September 2009. We here describe several new and improved features in PRIDE, including the revised submission process, which now includes direct submission of fragment ion annotations. Correspondingly, it is now possible to visualize spectrum fragmentation annotations on tandem mass spectra, a key feature for compliance with journal data submission requirements. We also describe recent developments in the PRIDE BioMart interface, which now allows integrative queries that can join PRIDE data to a growing number of biological resources such as Reactome, Ensembl, InterPro and UniProt. This ability to perform extremely powerful across-domain queries will certainly be a cornerstone of future bioinformatics analyses. Finally, we highlight the importance of data sharing in the proteomics field, and the corresponding integration of PRIDE with other databases in the ProteomExchange consortium.
PMCID: PMC2808904  PMID: 19906717
25.  POGs2: A Web Portal to Facilitate Cross-Species Inferences About Protein Architecture and Function in Plants 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82569.
The Putative orthologous Groups 2 Database (POGs2) ( integrates information about the inferred proteomes of four plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Zea mays, Orza sativa, and Populus trichocarpa) in a display that facilitates comparisons among orthologs and extrapolation of annotations among species. A single-page view collates key functional data for members of each Putative Orthologous Group (POG): graphical representations of InterPro domains, predicted and established intracellular locations, and imported gene descriptions. The display incorporates POGs predicted by two different algorithms as well as gene trees, allowing users to evaluate the validity of POG memberships. The web interface provides ready access to sequences and alignments of POG members, as well as sequences, alignments, and domain architectures of closely-related paralogs. A simple and flexible search interface permits queries by BLAST and by any combination of gene identifier, keywords, domain names, InterPro identifiers, and intracellular location. The concurrent display of domain architectures for orthologous proteins highlights errors in gene models and false-negatives in domain predictions. The POGs2 layout is also useful for exploring candidate genes identified by transposon tagging, QTL mapping, map-based cloning, and proteomics, and for navigating between orthologous groups that belong to the same gene family.
PMCID: PMC3858315  PMID: 24340041

Results 1-25 (1126578)