Nucleic Acids Research

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  • MiCroKiTS 4.0: a database of midbody, centrosome, kinetochore, telomere and spindle
    [Jan 2015]

    We reported an updated database of MiCroKiTS 4.0 (http://microkit.biocuckoo.org) for proteins temporally and spatially localized in distinct subcellular positions including midbody, centrosome, kinetochore, telomere and mitotic spindle during cell division/mitosis. The database was updated from our previously developed database of MiCroKit 3.0, which contained 1489 proteins mostly forming super-complexes at midbody, centrosome and kinetochore from seven eukaryotes. Since the telomere and spindle apparatus are critical for cell division, the proteins localized at the two positions were also integrated. From the scientific literature, we curated 1872 experimentally identified proteins which at least locate in one of the five positions from eight species. Then the ortholog detection was performed to identify potential MiCroKiTS proteins from 144 eukaryotic organisms, which contains 66, 45 and 33 species of animals, fungi and plants, respectively. In total, 87 983 unique proteins with corresponding localization information were integrated into the database. The primary references of experimentally identified localizations were provided and the fluorescence microscope figures for the localizations of human proteins were shown. The orthologous relations between predicted and experimental localizations were also present. Taken together, we anticipate the database can serve as a useful resource for further analyzing the molecular mechanisms during cell division.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • RaftProt: mammalian lipid raft proteome database
    [Jan 2015]

    RaftProt (http://lipid-raft-database.di.uq.edu.au/) is a database of mammalian lipid raft-associated proteins as reported in high-throughput mass spectrometry studies. Lipid rafts are specialized membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids thought to act as dynamic signalling and sorting platforms. Given their fundamental roles in cellular regulation, there is a plethora of information on the size, composition and regulation of these membrane microdomains, including a large number of proteomics studies. To facilitate the mining and analysis of published lipid raft proteomics studies, we have developed a searchable database RaftProt. In addition to browsing the studies, performing basic queries by protein and gene names, searching experiments by cell, tissue and organisms; we have implemented several advanced features to facilitate data mining. To address the issue of potential bias due to biochemical preparation procedures used, we have captured the lipid raft preparation methods and implemented advanced search option for methodology and sample treatment conditions, such as cholesterol depletion. Furthermore, we have identified a list of high confidence proteins, and enabled searching only from this list of likely bona fide lipid raft proteins. Given the apparent biological importance of lipid raft and their associated proteins, this database would constitute a key resource for the scientific community.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • WDSPdb: a database for WD40-repeat proteins
    [Jan 2015]

    WD40-repeat proteins, as one of the largest protein families, often serve as platforms to assemble functional complexes through the hotspot residues on their domain surfaces, and thus play vital roles in many biological processes. Consequently, it is highly required for researchers who study WD40 proteins and protein–protein interactions to obtain structural information of WD40 domains. Systematic identification of WD40-repeat proteins, including prediction of their secondary structures, tertiary structures and potential hotspot residues responsible for protein–protein interactions, may constitute a valuable resource upon this request. To achieve this goal, we developed a specialized database WDSPdb (http://wu.scbb.pkusz.edu.cn/wdsp/) to provide these details of WD40-repeat proteins based on our recently published method WDSP. The WDSPdb contains 63 211 WD40-repeat proteins identified from 3383 species, including most well-known model organisms. To better serve the community, we implemented a user-friendly interactive web interface to browse, search and download the secondary structures, 3D structure models and potential hotspot residues provided by WDSPdb.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • The RCSB Protein Data Bank: views of structural biology for basic and applied research and education
    [Jan 2015]

    The RCSB Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB, http://www.rcsb.org) provides access to 3D structures of biological macromolecules and is one of the leading resources in biology and biomedicine worldwide. Our efforts over the past 2 years focused on enabling a deeper understanding of structural biology and providing new structural views of biology that support both basic and applied research and education. Herein, we describe recently introduced data annotations including integration with external biological resources, such as gene and drug databases, new visualization tools and improved support for the mobile web. We also describe access to data files, web services and open access software components to enable software developers to more effectively mine the PDB archive and related annotations. Our efforts are aimed at expanding the role of 3D structure in understanding biology and medicine.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • SASBDB, a repository for biological small-angle scattering data
    [Jan 2015]

    Small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS and SANS) are fundamental tools used to study the global shapes of proteins, nucleic acids, macromolecular complexes and assemblies in solution. Due to recent advances in instrumentation and computational methods, the quantity of experimental scattering data and subsequent publications is increasing dramatically. The need for a global repository allowing investigators to locate and access experimental scattering data and associated models was recently emphasized by the wwPDB small-angle scattering task force (SAStf). The small-angle scattering biological data bank (SASBDB) www.sasbdb.org has been designed in accordance with the plans of the SAStf as part of a future federated system of databases for biological SAXS and SANS. SASBDB is a comprehensive repository of freely accessible and fully searchable SAS experimental data and models that are deposited together with the relevant experimental conditions, sample details and instrument characteristics. At present the quality of deposited experimental data and the accuracy of models are manually curated, with future plans to integrate automated systems as the database expands.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • A series of PDB-related databanks for everyday needs
    [Jan 2015]

    We present a series of databanks (http://swift.cmbi.ru.nl/gv/facilities/) that hold information that is computationally derived from Protein Data Bank (PDB) entries and that might augment macromolecular structure studies. These derived databanks run parallel to the PDB, i.e. they have one entry per PDB entry. Several of the well-established databanks such as HSSP, PDBREPORT and PDB_REDO have been updated and/or improved. The software that creates the DSSP databank, for example, has been rewritten to better cope with -helices. A large number of databanks have been added to aid computational structural biology; some examples are lists of residues that make crystal contacts, lists of contacting residues using a series of contact definitions or lists of residue accessibilities. PDB files are not the optimal presentation of the underlying data for many studies. We therefore made a series of databanks that hold PDB files in an easier to use or more consistent representation. The BDB databank holds X-ray PDB files with consistently represented B-factors. We also added several visualization tools to aid the users of our databanks.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • ValidatorDB: database of up-to-date validation results for ligands and non-standard residues from the Protein Data Bank
    [Jan 2015]

    Following the discovery of serious errors in the structure of biomacromolecules, structure validation has become a key topic of research, especially for ligands and non-standard residues. ValidatorDB (freely available at http://ncbr.muni.cz/ValidatorDB) offers a new step in this direction, in the form of a database of validation results for all ligands and non-standard residues from the Protein Data Bank (all molecules with seven or more heavy atoms). Model molecules from the wwPDB Chemical Component Dictionary are used as reference during validation. ValidatorDB covers the main aspects of validation of annotation, and additionally introduces several useful validation analyses. The most significant is the classification of chirality errors, allowing the user to distinguish between serious issues and minor inconsistencies. Other such analyses are able to report, for example, completely erroneous ligands, alternate conformations or complete identity with the model molecules. All results are systematically classified into categories, and statistical evaluations are performed. In addition to detailed validation reports for each molecule, ValidatorDB provides summaries of the validation results for the entire PDB, for sets of molecules sharing the same annotation (three-letter code) or the same PDB entry, and for user-defined selections of annotations or PDB entries.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • CATH: comprehensive structural and functional annotations for genome sequences
    [Jan 2015]

    The latest version of the CATH-Gene3D protein structure classification database (4.0, http://www.cathdb.info) provides annotations for over 235 000 protein domain structures and includes 25 million domain predictions. This article provides an update on the major developments in the 2 years since the last publication in this journal including: significant improvements to the predictive power of our functional families (FunFams); the release of our ‘current’ putative domain assignments (CATH-B); a new, strictly non-redundant data set of CATH domains suitable for homology benchmarking experiments (CATH-40) and a number of improvements to the web pages.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Genome3D: exploiting structure to help users understand their sequences
    [Jan 2015]

    Genome3D (http://www.genome3d.eu) is a collaborative resource that provides predicted domain annotations and structural models for key sequences. Since introducing Genome3D in a previous NAR paper, we have substantially extended and improved the resource. We have annotated representatives from Pfam families to improve coverage of diverse sequences and added a fast sequence search to the website to allow users to find Genome3D-annotated sequences similar to their own. We have improved and extended the Genome3D data, enlarging the source data set from three model organisms to 10, and adding VIVACE, a resource new to Genome3D. We have analysed and updated Genome3D's SCOP/CATH mapping. Finally, we have improved the superposition tools, which now give users a more powerful interface for investigating similarities and differences between structural models.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Platinum: a database of experimentally measured effects of mutations on structurally defined protein-ligand complexes
    [Jan 2015]

    Drug resistance is a major challenge for the treatment of many diseases and a significant concern throughout the drug development process. The ability to understand and predict the effects of mutations on protein–ligand affinities and their roles in the emergence of resistance would significantly aid treatment and drug design strategies. In order to study and understand the impacts of missense mutations on the interaction of ligands with the proteome, we have developed Platinum (http://structure.bioc.cam.ac.uk/platinum). This manually curated, literature-derived database, comprising over 1000 mutations, associates for the first time experimental information on changes in affinity with three-dimensional structures of protein–ligand complexes. To minimize differences arising from experimental techniques and to directly compare binding affinities, Platinum considers only changes measured by the same group and with the same amino-acid sequence used for structure determination, providing a direct link between protein structure, how a ligand binds and how mutations alter the affinity of the ligand of the protein. We believe Platinum will be an invaluable resource for understanding the effects of mutations that give rise to drug resistance, a major problem emerging in pandemics including those caused by the influenza virus, in infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, in cancer and in many other life-threatening illnesses.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • PoSSuM v.2.0: data update and a new function for investigating ligand analogs and target proteins of small-molecule drugs
    [Jan 2015]

    PoSSuM (http://possum.cbrc.jp/PoSSuM/) is a database for detecting similar small-molecule binding sites on proteins. Since its initial release in 2011, PoSSuM has grown to provide information related to 49 million pairs of similar binding sites discovered among 5.5 million known and putative binding sites. This enlargement of the database is expected to enhance opportunities for biological and pharmaceutical applications, such as predictions of new functions and drug discovery. In this release, we have provided a new service named PoSSuM drug search (PoSSuMds) at http://possum.cbrc.jp/PoSSuM/drug_search/, in which we selected 194 approved drug compounds retrieved from ChEMBL, and detected their known binding pockets and pockets that are similar to them. Users can access and download all of the search results via a new web interface, which is useful for finding ligand analogs as well as potential target proteins. Furthermore, PoSSuMds enables users to explore the binding pocket universe within PoSSuM. Additionally, we have improved the web interface with new functions, including sortable tables and a viewer for visualizing and downloading superimposed pockets.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • sc-PDB: a 3D-database of ligandable binding sites--10 years on
    [Jan 2015]

    The sc-PDB database (available at http://bioinfo-pharma.u-strasbg.fr/scPDB/) is a comprehensive and up-to-date selection of ligandable binding sites of the Protein Data Bank. Sites are defined from complexes between a protein and a pharmacological ligand. The database provides the all-atom description of the protein, its ligand, their binding site and their binding mode. Currently, the sc-PDB archive registers 9283 binding sites from 3678 unique proteins and 5608 unique ligands. The sc-PDB database was publicly launched in 2004 with the aim of providing structure files suitable for computational approaches to drug design, such as docking. During the last 10 years we have improved and standardized the processes for (i) identifying binding sites, (ii) correcting structures, (iii) annotating protein function and ligand properties and (iv) characterizing their binding mode. This paper presents the latest enhancements in the database, specifically pertaining to the representation of molecular interaction and to the similarity between ligand/protein binding patterns. The new website puts emphasis in pictorial analysis of data.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • The immune epitope database (IEDB) 3.0
    [Jan 2015]

    The IEDB, www.iedb.org, contains information on immune epitopes—the molecular targets of adaptive immune responses—curated from the published literature and submitted by National Institutes of Health funded epitope discovery efforts. From 2004 to 2012 the IEDB curation of journal articles published since 1960 has caught up to the present day, with >95% of relevant published literature manually curated amounting to more than 15 000 journal articles and more than 704 000 experiments to date. The revised curation target since 2012 has been to make recent research findings quickly available in the IEDB and thereby ensure that it continues to be an up-to-date resource. Having gathered a comprehensive dataset in the IEDB, a complete redesign of the query and reporting interface has been performed in the IEDB 3.0 release to improve how end users can access this information in an intuitive and biologically accurate manner. We here present this most recent release of the IEDB and describe the user testing procedures as well as the use of external ontologies that have enabled it.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • IMGT(R), the international ImMunoGeneTics information system(R) 25 years on
    [Jan 2015]

    IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®(http://www.imgt.org) is the global reference in immunogenetics and immunoinformatics. By its creation in 1989 by Marie-Paule Lefranc (Université de Montpellier and CNRS), IMGT® marked the advent of immunoinformatics, which emerged at the interface between immunogenetics and bioinformatics. IMGT® is specialized in the immunoglobulins (IG) or antibodies, T cell receptors (TR), major histocompatibility (MH) and proteins of the IgSF and MhSF superfamilies. IMGT® is built on the IMGT-ONTOLOGY axioms and concepts, which bridged the gap between genes, sequences and 3D structures. The concepts include the IMGT® standardized keywords (identification), IMGT® standardized labels (description), IMGT® standardized nomenclature (classification), IMGT unique numbering and IMGT Colliers de Perles (numerotation). IMGT® comprises 7 databases, 17 online tools and 15 000 pages of web resources, and provides a high-quality and integrated system for analysis of the genomic and expressed IG and TR repertoire of the adaptive immune responses, including NGS high-throughput data. Tools and databases are used in basic, veterinary and medical research, in clinical applications (mutation analysis in leukemia and lymphoma) and in antibody engineering and humanization. The IMGT/mAb-DB interface was developed for therapeutic antibodies and fusion proteins for immunological applications (FPIA). IMGT® is freely available at http://www.imgt.org.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • An efficient and sensitive method for preparing cDNA libraries from scarce biological samples
    [Jan 2015]

    The preparation and high-throughput sequencing of cDNA libraries from samples of small RNA is a powerful tool to quantify known small RNAs (such as microRNAs) and to discover novel RNA species. Interest in identifying the small RNA repertoire present in tissues and in biofluids has grown substantially with the findings that small RNAs can serve as indicators of biological conditions and disease states. Here we describe a novel and straightforward method to clone cDNA libraries from small quantities of input RNA. This method permits the generation of cDNA libraries from sub-picogram quantities of RNA robustly, efficiently and reproducibly. We demonstrate that the method provides a significant improvement in sensitivity compared to previous cloning methods while maintaining reproducible identification of diverse small RNA species. This method should have widespread applications in a variety of contexts, including biomarker discovery from scarce samples of human tissue or body fluids.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • An optimized kit-free method for making strand-specific deep sequencing libraries from RNA fragments
    [Jan 2015]

    Deep sequencing of strand-specific cDNA libraries is now a ubiquitous tool for identifying and quantifying RNAs in diverse sample types. The accuracy of conclusions drawn from these analyses depends on precise and quantitative conversion of the RNA sample into a DNA library suitable for sequencing. Here, we describe an optimized method of preparing strand-specific RNA deep sequencing libraries from small RNAs and variably sized RNA fragments obtained from ribonucleoprotein particle footprinting experiments or fragmentation of long RNAs. Our approach works across a wide range of input amounts (400 pg to 200 ng), is easy to follow and produces a library in 2–3 days at relatively low reagent cost, all while giving the user complete control over every step. Because all enzymatic reactions were optimized and driven to apparent completion, sequence diversity and species abundance in the input sample are well preserved.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Specific recognition of guanines in non-duplex regions of nucleic acids with potassium tungstate and hydrogen peroxide
    [Jan 2015]

    Structural features of nucleic acids have become an integral part of current biomedical research. Highly selective and readily performed methods with little toxicity that target guanosines in non-duplex nucleic acids are needed, which led us to search for an effective agent for guanosine sequencing. Treatment of DNA or RNA with potassium tungstate and hydrogen peroxide produced damaged guanosines in DNA or RNA sequences. The damaged guanosines in non-duplex DNA could be cleaved by hot piperidine. Similarly, damaged guanosines in non-duplex RNA could be cleaved by aniline acetate. We could identify structural features of nucleic acid using this strategy instead of dimethyl sulphate and Ribonuclease T1.

    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Extendable blocking probe in reverse transcription for analysis of RNA variants with superior selectivity
    [Jan 2015]

    Here we provide the first strategy to use a competitive Extendable Blocking Probe (ExBP) for allele-specific priming with superior selectivity at the stage of reverse transcription. In order to analyze highly similar RNA variants, a reverse-transcriptase primer whose sequence matches a specific variant selectively primes only that variant, whereas mismatch priming to the alternative variant is suppressed by virtue of hybridization and subsequent extension of the perfectly matched ExBP on that alternative variant template to form a cDNA–RNA hybrid. This hybrid will render the alternative RNA template unavailable for mismatch priming initiated by the specific primer in a hot-start protocol of reverse transcription when the temperature decreases to a level where such mismatch priming could occur. The ExBP-based reverse transcription assay detected BRAF and KRAS mutations in at least 1000-fold excess of wild-type RNA and detection was linear over a 4-log dynamic range. This novel strategy not only reveals the presence or absence of rare mutations with an exceptionally high selectivity, but also provides a convenient tool for accurate determination of RNA variants in different settings, such as quantification of allele-specific expression.

    Categories: Journal Articles