This article has been updated from a previous version to clarify the number of protein entries in the database.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – For more than five years, researchers have been working to create the Human Proteinpedia, an online protein information warehouse. Today, an international team of scientists led by a Johns Hopkins University researcher announced the culmination of this effort, which they consider to be the world’s largest free protein database, in a letter to the journal Nature Biotechnology.
While the rise of proteomics has generated a glut of information about how and where various proteins work, it’s not always easy to access this information — especially unpublished or supplementary information. The Proteinpedia is intended to rectify that. Researchers can log in and edit protein pages. This means that scientists can add up-to-the minute information, Wikipedia-style, as they complete experiments.
“Advances in technology have made data generation much easier, but processing it and interpreting observations are now the major hurdles in science today,” Johns Hopkins researcher Akhilesh Pandey, Proteinpedia project leader, said in a statement. “We’ve created a repository that incorporates easy-to-use Web forms so that all researchers can contribute and share data.”
Pandey has led the project since its early days in 2002, coordinating scientists and computer software developers at Bangalore’s Institute of Bioinformatics. The project was funded, in part, by a National Institutes of Health Roadmap Initiative grant.
The site currently houses entries for more than 15,230 human proteins and more than 200,000 annotatations. The developers emphasize that the site encompasses data generated using several experimental approaches.
“[M]ost proteomic repositories are restricted to one or two experimental platforms,” the authors wrote, “whereas Proteinpedia can accommodate data from diverse platforms, including yeast two-hybrid screens, MS, peptide/protein arrays, immunohistochemistry, western blots, co-immunoprecipitation and fluorescence microscopy-type experiments.”