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      The Pfam protein families database: towards a more sustainable future

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          Abstract

          In the last two years the Pfam database ( http://pfam.xfam.org) has undergone a substantial reorganisation to reduce the effort involved in making a release, thereby permitting more frequent releases. Arguably the most significant of these changes is that Pfam is now primarily based on the UniProtKB reference proteomes, with the counts of matched sequences and species reported on the website restricted to this smaller set. Building families on reference proteomes sequences brings greater stability, which decreases the amount of manual curation required to maintain them. It also reduces the number of sequences displayed on the website, whilst still providing access to many important model organisms. Matches to the full UniProtKB database are, however, still available and Pfam annotations for individual UniProtKB sequences can still be retrieved. Some Pfam entries (1.6%) which have no matches to reference proteomes remain; we are working with UniProt to see if sequences from them can be incorporated into reference proteomes. Pfam-B, the automatically-generated supplement to Pfam, has been removed. The current release (Pfam 29.0) includes 16 295 entries and 559 clans. The facility to view the relationship between families within a clan has been improved by the introduction of a new tool.

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          Protein homology detection by HMM-HMM comparison.

          Protein homology detection and sequence alignment are at the basis of protein structure prediction, function prediction and evolution. We have generalized the alignment of protein sequences with a profile hidden Markov model (HMM) to the case of pairwise alignment of profile HMMs. We present a method for detecting distant homologous relationships between proteins based on this approach. The method (HHsearch) is benchmarked together with BLAST, PSI-BLAST, HMMER and the profile-profile comparison tools PROF_SIM and COMPASS, in an all-against-all comparison of a database of 3691 protein domains from SCOP 1.63 with pairwise sequence identities below 20%.Sensitivity: When the predicted secondary structure is included in the HMMs, HHsearch is able to detect between 2.7 and 4.2 times more homologs than PSI-BLAST or HMMER and between 1.44 and 1.9 times more than COMPASS or PROF_SIM for a rate of false positives of 10%. Approximately half of the improvement over the profile-profile comparison methods is attributable to the use of profile HMMs in place of simple profiles. Alignment quality: Higher sensitivity is mirrored by an increased alignment quality. HHsearch produced 1.2, 1.7 and 3.3 times more good alignments ('balanced' score >0.3) than the next best method (COMPASS), and 1.6, 2.9 and 9.4 times more than PSI-BLAST, at the family, superfamily and fold level, respectively.Speed: HHsearch scans a query of 200 residues against 3691 domains in 33 s on an AMD64 2GHz PC. This is 10 times faster than PROF_SIM and 17 times faster than COMPASS.
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            Pfam: clans, web tools and services

            Pfam is a database of protein families that currently contains 7973 entries (release 18.0). A recent development in Pfam has enabled the grouping of related families into clans. Pfam clans are described in detail, together with the new associated web pages. Improvements to the range of Pfam web tools and the first set of Pfam web services that allow programmatic access to the database and associated tools are also presented. Pfam is available on the web in the UK (), the USA (), France () and Sweden ().
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              HMMER web server: 2015 update

              The HMMER website, available at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/hmmer/, provides access to the protein homology search algorithms found in the HMMER software suite. Since the first release of the website in 2011, the search repertoire has been expanded to include the iterative search algorithm, jackhmmer. The continued growth of the target sequence databases means that traditional tabular representations of significant sequence hits can be overwhelming to the user. Consequently, additional ways of presenting homology search results have been developed, allowing them to be summarised according to taxonomic distribution or domain architecture. The taxonomy and domain architecture representations can be used in combination to filter the results according to the needs of a user. Searches can also be restricted prior to submission using a new taxonomic filter, which not only ensures that the results are specific to the requested taxonomic group, but also improves search performance. The repertoire of profile hidden Markov model libraries, which are used for annotation of query sequences with protein families and domains, has been expanded to include the libraries from CATH-Gene3D, PIRSF, Superfamily and TIGRFAMs. Finally, we discuss the relocation of the HMMER webserver to the European Bioinformatics Institute and the potential impact that this will have.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nucleic Acids Res
                Nucleic Acids Res
                nar
                nar
                Nucleic Acids Research
                Oxford University Press
                0305-1048
                1362-4962
                04 January 2016
                15 December 2015
                15 December 2015
                : 44
                : Database issue , Database issue
                : D279-D285
                Affiliations
                [1 ]European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK
                [2 ]Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK
                [3 ]Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Biological Laboratories 1008, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
                [4 ]John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
                [5 ]Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
                [6 ]Sorbonne Universités, UPMC-Univ P6, CNRS, Laboratoire de Biologie Computationnelle et Quantitative - UMR 7238, 15 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, 75006 Paris, France
                Author notes
                [* ]To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel: +44 1223 492679; Fax: +44 1223 494468; Email: rdf@ 123456ebi.ac.uk
                Article
                10.1093/nar/gkv1344
                4702930
                26673716
                © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@ 123456oup.com

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                Pages: 7
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                04 January 2016

                Genetics

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