NAR Molecular Biology Database Collection entry number 172
Lefranc, M.-P.
Université Montpellier 2, CNRS, Montpellier, France.

Database Description

IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®, created in 1989 by Marie-Paule Lefranc (Université Montpellier 2, CNRS, Montpellier, France), is a high-quality integrated knowledge resource specialized in immunoglobulins (IG), T cell receptors (TR), and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of human and other vertebrate species, and related proteins of the immune system (RPI) that belong to the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) and to the MHC superfamily (MhcSF) (1,2). IMGT® provides a common access to expertly annotated nucleotide and protein sequences, structural data and genetic information for the molecules of the immune system (3,4). IMGT® includes: (i) five databases: IMGT/LIGM-DB (5), a comprehensive database of more than 122,400 IG and TR sequences from human and from 221 other vertebrate species in April 2008, IMGT/MHC-DB hosted at EBI [which comprises IMGT/MHC-HLA (ANRI), IMGT/MHC-NHP (BPRC)], IMGT/PRIMER-DB(LIGM, Montpellier), IMGT/GENE-DB (6),IMGT/3Dstructure-DB (7), (ii) Web resources: 10,000 HTML pages ('IMGT Marie-Paule page') which comprise locus representations, gene tables, allele alignments, 2D graphical representations (or IMGT Colliers de Perles), 3D representations (IMGT Repertoire for IG and TR, MHC, RPI), IMGT Scientific chart rules based on the IMGT-ONTOLOGY axioms and concepts (8,9), educational pages (IMGT Education), numerous hyperlinks to external Web servers (IMGT Bloc-notes), a referential index (IMGT Index), (iii) interactive tools: IMGT/V-QUEST (10), IMGT/JunctionAnalysis (11), IMGT/PhyloGene (12), IMGT/GeneSearch, IMGT/GeneView, IMGT/LocusView, IMGT/GeneInfo (13), IMGT/StructuralQuery. Since July 1995, IMGT® has been available on the Web at IMGT® databases, tools and Web resources are extensively queried and used by scientists from both academic and industrial laboratories. IMGT® is used in very diverse domains: (i) fundamental and medical research (repertoire analysis of the IG antibody recognition sites and of the TR recognition sites in normal and pathological situations such as autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, AIDS, leukemias, lymphomas, and myelomas), (ii) veterinary research (IG and TR repertoires in farm and wildlife species), (iii) genome diversity and genome evolution studies of the adaptive immune responses, (iv) structural evolution of the IgSF and MhcSF proteins, (v) biotechnology related to antibody engineering [single chain Fragment variable (scFv), phage displays, combinatorial libraries, chimeric, humanized, and human antibodies], (vi) diagnostics (clonalities, detection, and follow-up of residual diseases), and (vii) therapeutical approaches (grafts, immunotherapy, and vaccinology).

Recent Developments

IMGT® has an exceptional response with more than 150,000 requests a month.


IMGT® received funding from the European Union (EU) programmes BIOMED1 (BIOCT930038), BIOTECH2 (BIO4CT960037), 5th PCRDT (QLG2-2000-01287) and 6th PCRDT (ImmunoGrid IST-028069), from the Agence Nationale de la Recherche ANR (BIOSYS06-135457) and from the Region Languedoc-Roussillon. IMGT® is funded by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Ministère de l'Education Nationale and the Ministère de la Recherche.


1. Lefranc, M.-P., Giudicelli, V., Kaas, Q., Duprat, E., Jabado-Michaloud, J., Scaviner, D., Ginestoux, C., Clément, O., Chaume, D., and Lefranc, G. (2005) IMGT, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®. Nucleic Acids Res., 2005, 33, D593-D597
2. Lefranc, M.-P., Clément, O., Kaas, Q., Duprat, E., Chastellan, P., Coelho, I., Combres, K., Ginestoux, C., Giudicelli, V., Chaume, D., and Lefranc, G. (2005) IMGT-Choreography for Immunogenetics and Immunoinformatics. In Silico Biology, 2005, 5, 45-60.
3. Lefranc, M.-P., and Lefranc, G. (2001) The Immunoglobulin FactsBook (, Academic Press, 458 pages, ISBN:012441351X
4. Lefranc, M.-P., and Lefranc, G. (2001) The T cell receptor FactsBook (, Academic Press, 398 pages, ISBN: 0124413528
5. Giudicelli, V., Ginestoux, C., Folch, G., Jabado-Michaloud, J., Chaume, D., and Lefranc, M.-P. (2006) IMGT/LIGM-DB, the IMGT® comprehensive database of immunoglobulin and T cell receptor nucleotide sequences. Nucleic Acids Res., 34, D781-D784.
6. Giudicelli, V., Chaume, D., and Lefranc M.-P., (2005) IMGT/GENE-DB: a comprehensive database for human and mouse immunoglobulin and T cell receptor genes. Nucleic Acids Res., 33, D256-D261
7. Kaas, Q., Ruiz, M., and Lefranc, M.-P., (2004) IMGT/3Dstructure-DB and IMGT/StructuralQuery, a database and a tool for immunoglobulin, T cell receptor and MHC structural data. Nucleic Acids Res., 32, D208-D210.
8. Giudicelli, V., and Lefranc, M.-P. (1999) Ontology for immunogenetics: the IMGT-ONTOLOGY. Bioinformatics, 15, 1047-1054
9. Duroux, P., Kaas, Q., Brochet, X., Lane, J., Ginestoux, C., Lefranc, M.-P., and Giudicelli, V. (2008) IMGT-Kaleidoscope, the formal IMGT-ONTOLOGY paradigm. Biochimie, 90, 570-583.
10. Giudicelli, V., Chaume, D., and Lefranc, M.-P. (2004) IMGT/V-QUEST, an integrated software for immunoglobulin and T cell receptor V-J and V-D-J rearrangement analysis. Nucleic Acids Res., 2004, 32, W435-W440.
11. Yousfi Monod, M., Giudicelli, V., Chaume, D., and Lefranc, M.-P. (2004) IMGT/JunctionAnalysis: the first tool for the analysis of the immunoglobulin and T cell receptor complex V-J and V-D-J JUNCTIONs. Bioinformatics, 20, i379-i385.
12. Elemento, O., and Lefranc, M.-P. (2003) IMGT/PhyloGene: an online software package for phylogenetic analysis of immunoglobulin and T cell receptor genes. Dev. Comp. Immunol., 27, 763-779z.
13. Baum, P., Pasqual, N., Thuderoz, F., Hierle, V., Chaume, D., Lefranc, M.-P., Jouvin-Marche, E., Marche, N., and Demongeot, J. (2004) IMGT/GeneInfo: enhancing V(D)J recombination database accessibility. Nucleic Acids Res., 32, D51-D54.

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