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      The complexity, challenges and benefits of comparing two transporter classification systems in TCDB and Pfam

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          Abstract

          Transport systems comprise roughly 10% of all proteins in a cell, playing critical roles in many processes. Improving and expanding their classification is an important goal that can affect studies ranging from comparative genomics to potential drug target searches. It is not surprising that different classification systems for transport proteins have arisen, be it within a specialized database, focused on this functional class of proteins, or as part of a broader classification system for all proteins. Two such databases are the Transporter Classification Database (TCDB) and the Protein family (Pfam) database. As part of a long-term endeavor to improve consistency between the two classification systems, we have compared transporter annotations in the two databases to understand the rationale for differences and to improve both systems. Differences sometimes reflect the fact that one database has a particular transporter family while the other does not. Differing family definitions and hierarchical organizations were reconciled, resulting in recognition of 69 Pfam ‘Domains of Unknown Function’, which proved to be transport protein families to be renamed using TCDB annotations. Of over 400 potential new Pfam families identified from TCDB, 10% have already been added to Pfam, and TCDB has created 60 new entries based on Pfam data. This work, for the first time, reveals the benefits of comprehensive database comparisons and explains the differences between Pfam and TCDB.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Update on activities at the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) in 2013

          The mission of the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) (http://www.uniprot.org) is to support biological research by providing a freely accessible, stable, comprehensive, fully classified, richly and accurately annotated protein sequence knowledgebase. It integrates, interprets and standardizes data from numerous resources to achieve the most comprehensive catalogue of protein sequences and functional annotation. UniProt comprises four major components, each optimized for different uses, the UniProt Archive, the UniProt Knowledgebase, the UniProt Reference Clusters and the UniProt Metagenomic and Environmental Sequence Database. UniProt is produced by the UniProt Consortium, which consists of groups from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) and the Protein Information Resource (PIR). UniProt is updated and distributed every 4 weeks and can be accessed online for searches or downloads.
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            Database resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information

            In addition to maintaining the GenBank® nucleic acid sequence database, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides analysis and retrieval resources for the data in GenBank and other biological data made available through the NCBI Website. NCBI resources include Entrez, the Entrez Programming Utilities, MyNCBI, PubMed, PubMed Central (PMC), Gene, the NCBI Taxonomy Browser, BLAST, BLAST Link (BLink), Primer-BLAST, COBALT, Splign, RefSeq, UniGene, HomoloGene, ProtEST, dbMHC, dbSNP, dbVar, Epigenomics, Genome and related tools, the Map Viewer, Model Maker, Evidence Viewer, Trace Archive, Sequence Read Archive, BioProject, BioSample, Retroviral Genotyping Tools, HIV-1/Human Protein Interaction Database, Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), Probe, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA), the Molecular Modeling Database (MMDB), the Conserved Domain Database (CDD), the Conserved Domain Architecture Retrieval Tool (CDART), Biosystems, Protein Clusters and the PubChem suite of small molecule databases. Augmenting many of the Web applications are custom implementations of the BLAST program optimized to search specialized data sets. All of these resources can be accessed through the NCBI home page at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
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              TCDB: the Transporter Classification Database for membrane transport protein analyses and information

              The Transporter Classification Database (TCDB) is a web accessible, curated, relational database containing sequence, classification, structural, functional and evolutionary information about transport systems from a variety of living organisms. TCDB is a curated repository for factual information compiled from >10 000 references, encompassing ∼3000 representative transporters and putative transporters, classified into >400 families. The transporter classification (TC) system is an International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology approved system of nomenclature for transport protein classification. TCDB is freely accessible at . The web interface provides several different methods for accessing the data, including step-by-step access to hierarchical classification, direct search by sequence or TC number and full-text searching. The functional ontology that underlies the database structure facilitates powerful query searches that yield valuable data in a quick and easy way. The TCDB website also offers several tools specifically designed for analyzing the unique characteristics of transport proteins. TCDB not only provides curated information and a tool for classifying newly identified membrane proteins, but also serves as a genome transporter-annotation tool.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Brief Bioinform
                Brief. Bioinformatics
                bib
                bib
                Briefings in Bioinformatics
                Oxford University Press
                1467-5463
                1477-4054
                September 2015
                21 January 2015
                21 January 2015
                : 16
                : 5
                : 865-872
                Author notes
                Corresponding author. Milton H. Saier, Jr., Department of Molecular Biology, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116. Tel.: +1-858-534-4084; Fax: +1-858-534-7108. E-mail: msaier@ 123456ucsd.edu
                *These authors contributed equally to this work.
                Article
                bbu053
                10.1093/bib/bbu053
                4570203
                25614388
                © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Pages: 8
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