As biomolecular sequencing is becoming the main technique in life sciences, functional interpretation of sequences in terms of biomolecular mechanisms with in silico approaches is getting increasingly significant. Function prediction tools are most powerful for protein-coding sequences; yet, the concepts and technologies used for this purpose are not well reflected in bioinformatics textbooks. Notably, protein sequences typically consist of globular domains and non-globular segments. The two types of regions require cardinally different approaches for function prediction.
Next-generation sequencing advances are rapidly expanding the number of human mutations to be analyzed for causative roles in genetic disorders. Our Human Protein Mutation Viewer (HPMV) is intended to explore the biomolecular mechanistic significance of non-synonymous human mutations in protein-coding genomic regions. The tool helps to assess whether protein mutations affect the occurrence of sequence-architectural features (globular domains, targeting signals, post-translational modification sites, etc.). As input, HPMV accepts protein mutations - as UniProt accessions with mutations (e.g.
The Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (JBCB) started publishing scientific articles in 2003. It has established itself as home for solid research articles in the field (~ 60 per year) that are surprisingly well cited. JBCB has an important function as alternative publishing channel in addition to other, bigger journals.
The genome sequences of new viruses often contain many “orphan” or “taxon-specific” proteins apparently lacking homologs. However, because viral proteins evolve very fast, commonly used sequence similarity detection methods such as BLAST may overlook homologs. We analyzed a data set of proteins from RNA viruses characterized as “genus specific” by BLAST.
While very little genomic sequence is interpretable in terms of biological mechanism directly, the chances are much better for protein-coding genes that can be translated into protein sequences. This review considers the different concepts applicable to sequence analysis and function prediction of globular and non-globular protein segments. The publicly accessible ANNOTATOR software environment integrates most of the reliable protein sequence-based function prediction methods, protein domain databases and pathway, and protein–protein interaction collections developed in academia.
The usage of current sequence search tools becomes increasingly slower as databases of protein sequences continue to grow exponentially. Tachyon, a new algorithm that identifies closely related protein sequences ~200 times faster than standard BLAST, circumvents this limitation with a reduced database and oligopeptide matching heuristic.