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1.  Reference sequence (RefSeq) database at NCBI: current status, taxonomic expansion, and functional annotation 
Nucleic Acids Research  2015;44(Database issue):D733-D745.
The RefSeq project at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) maintains and curates a publicly available database of annotated genomic, transcript, and protein sequence records ( The RefSeq project leverages the data submitted to the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC) against a combination of computation, manual curation, and collaboration to produce a standard set of stable, non-redundant reference sequences. The RefSeq project augments these reference sequences with current knowledge including publications, functional features and informative nomenclature. The database currently represents sequences from more than 55 000 organisms (>4800 viruses, >40 000 prokaryotes and >10 000 eukaryotes; RefSeq release 71), ranging from a single record to complete genomes. This paper summarizes the current status of the viral, prokaryotic, and eukaryotic branches of the RefSeq project, reports on improvements to data access and details efforts to further expand the taxonomic representation of the collection. We also highlight diverse functional curation initiatives that support multiple uses of RefSeq data including taxonomic validation, genome annotation, comparative genomics, and clinical testing. We summarize our approach to utilizing available RNA-Seq and other data types in our manual curation process for vertebrate, plant, and other species, and describe a new direction for prokaryotic genomes and protein name management.
PMCID: PMC4702849  PMID: 26553804
2.  HIV-1, human interaction database: current status and new features 
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;43(Database issue):D566-D570.
The ‘Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1), Human Interaction Database’, available through the National Library of Medicine at, serves the scientific community exploring the discovery of novel HIV vaccine candidates and therapeutic targets. Each HIV-1 human protein interaction can be retrieved without restriction by web-based downloads and ftp protocols and includes: Reference Sequence (RefSeq) protein accession numbers, National Center for Biotechnology Information Gene identification numbers, brief descriptions of the interactions, searchable keywords for interactions and PubMed identification numbers (PMIDs) of journal articles describing the interactions. In addition to specific HIV-1 protein–human protein interactions, included are interaction effects upon HIV-1 replication resulting when individual human gene expression is blocked using siRNA. A total of 3142 human genes are described participating in 12 786 protein–protein interactions, along with 1316 replication interactions described for each of 1250 human genes identified using small interfering RNA (siRNA). Together the data identifies 4006 human genes involved in 14 102 interactions. With the inclusion of siRNA interactions we introduce a redesigned web interface to enhance viewing, filtering and downloading of the combined data set.
PMCID: PMC4383939  PMID: 25378338
3.  Gene: a gene-centered information resource at NCBI 
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;43(Database issue):D36-D42.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) Gene database ( integrates gene-specific information from multiple data sources. NCBI Reference Sequence (RefSeq) genomes for viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes are the primary foundation for Gene records in that they form the critical association between sequence and a tracked gene upon which additional functional and descriptive content is anchored. Additional content is integrated based on the genomic location and RefSeq transcript and protein sequence data. The content of a Gene record represents the integration of curation and automated processing from RefSeq, collaborating model organism databases, consortia such as Gene Ontology, and other databases within NCBI. Records in Gene are assigned unique, tracked integers as identifiers. The content (citations, nomenclature, genomic location, gene products and their attributes, phenotypes, sequences, interactions, variation details, maps, expression, homologs, protein domains and external databases) is available via interactive browsing through NCBI's Entrez system, via NCBI's Entrez programming utilities (E-Utilities and Entrez Direct) and for bulk transfer by FTP.
PMCID: PMC4383897  PMID: 25355515
4.  RefSeq: an update on mammalian reference sequences 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;42(Database issue):D756-D763.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Reference Sequence (RefSeq) database is a collection of annotated genomic, transcript and protein sequence records derived from data in public sequence archives and from computation, curation and collaboration ( We report here on growth of the mammalian and human subsets, changes to NCBI’s eukaryotic annotation pipeline and modifications affecting transcript and protein records. Recent changes to NCBI’s eukaryotic genome annotation pipeline provide higher throughput, and the addition of RNAseq data to the pipeline results in a significant expansion of the number of transcripts and novel exons annotated on mammalian RefSeq genomes. Recent annotation changes include reporting supporting evidence for transcript records, modification of exon feature annotation and the addition of a structured report of gene and sequence attributes of biological interest. We also describe a revised protein annotation policy for alternatively spliced transcripts with more divergent predicted proteins and we summarize the current status of the RefSeqGene project.
PMCID: PMC3965018  PMID: 24259432
5.  Current status and new features of the Consensus Coding Sequence database  
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;42(Database issue):D865-D872.
The Consensus Coding Sequence (CCDS) project ( is a collaborative effort to maintain a dataset of protein-coding regions that are identically annotated on the human and mouse reference genome assemblies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and Ensembl genome annotation pipelines. Identical annotations that pass quality assurance tests are tracked with a stable identifier (CCDS ID). Members of the collaboration, who are from NCBI, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of California Santa Cruz, provide coordinated and continuous review of the dataset to ensure high-quality CCDS representations. We describe here the current status and recent growth in the CCDS dataset, as well as recent changes to the CCDS web and FTP sites. These changes include more explicit reporting about the NCBI and Ensembl annotation releases being compared, new search and display options, the addition of biologically descriptive information and our approach to representing genes for which support evidence is incomplete. We also present a summary of recent and future curation targets.
PMCID: PMC3965069  PMID: 24217909
6.  The NIH genetic testing registry: a new, centralized database of genetic tests to enable access to comprehensive information and improve transparency 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(Database issue):D925-D935.
The National Institutes of Health Genetic Testing Registry (GTR; available online at maintains comprehensive information about testing offered worldwide for disorders with a genetic basis. Information is voluntarily submitted by test providers. The database provides details of each test (e.g. its purpose, target populations, methods, what it measures, analytical validity, clinical validity, clinical utility, ordering information) and laboratory (e.g. location, contact information, certifications and licenses). Each test is assigned a stable identifier of the format GTR000000000, which is versioned when the submitter updates information. Data submitted by test providers are integrated with basic information maintained in National Center for Biotechnology Information’s databases and presented on the web and through FTP (
PMCID: PMC3531155  PMID: 23193275
7.  Tracking and coordinating an international curation effort for the CCDS Project 
The Consensus Coding Sequence (CCDS) collaboration involves curators at multiple centers with a goal of producing a conservative set of high quality, protein-coding region annotations for the human and mouse reference genome assemblies. The CCDS data set reflects a ‘gold standard’ definition of best supported protein annotations, and corresponding genes, which pass a standard series of quality assurance checks and are supported by manual curation. This data set supports use of genome annotation information by human and mouse researchers for effective experimental design, analysis and interpretation. The CCDS project consists of analysis of automated whole-genome annotation builds to identify identical CDS annotations, quality assurance testing and manual curation support. Identical CDS annotations are tracked with a CCDS identifier (ID) and any future change to the annotated CDS structure must be agreed upon by the collaborating members. CCDS curation guidelines were developed to address some aspects of curation in order to improve initial annotation consistency and to reduce time spent in discussing proposed annotation updates. Here, we present the current status of the CCDS database and details on our procedures to track and coordinate our efforts. We also present the relevant background and reasoning behind the curation standards that we have developed for CCDS database treatment of transcripts that are nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) candidates, for transcripts containing upstream open reading frames, for identifying the most likely translation start codons and for the annotation of readthrough transcripts. Examples are provided to illustrate the application of these guidelines.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC3308164  PMID: 22434842

Results 1-7 (7)