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NAR Molecular Biology Database Collection entry number 212
Attwood, T.K.1, Bradley, P.1,2, Gaulton, A.1, Maudling, N. 1, Mitchell, A.1,2, Moulton, G.1
1School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK
2EMBL Outstation - EBI Wellcome Trust Genome Campus Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK

Database Description

The PRINTS database houses a collection of protein family fingerprints. These may be used to make familial and tentative functional assignments for uncharacterised sequences. The June 2003 release (version 37.0) includes 1,850 fingerprints, encoding ~11,000 motifs, covering a range of globular and membrane proteins, modular polypeptides, and so on. The database specialises in the provisional of hierarchical classifications of protein superfamilies, allowing fine-grained diagnoses - as such, it provides the bulk of the hierarchical family annotation in InterPro. PRINTS also underpins the Blocks database from Seattle and eMOTIF resource from Stanford. It is available for BLAST, fingerprint and text searches at

Recent Developments

WAn automatic supplement to PRINTS, termed prePRINTS, is now available; this is helping to increase family coverage and so improve the effectiveness of PRINTS as a sequence analysis tool. An essential component of prePRINTS is PRECIS (Protein Reports Engineered from Concise Information in SWISS-PROT), a tool for generating family annotation from Swiss-Prot completely automatically


PRINTS is built and maintained at the University of Manchester. We are grateful for individual support from the MRC (AG), the EC (AM), the EPSRC (NM), Biofocus (GM) and the EC (PB).


1. Attwood, T.K., Blythe, M., Flower, D.R., Gaulton, A., Mabey, J.E., Maudling, N., McGregor, L., Mitchell, A., Moulton, G., Paine, K. and Scordis, P. (2002) PRINTS and PRINTS-S shed light on protein ancestry. Nucleic Acids Res., 30, 239-241.
2. Attwood, T.K. (2001) A compendium of specific motifs for diagnosing GPCR subtypes. Trends Pharmacological Sci., 22, 162-165.
3. Attwood, T.K., Croning, M.D.R., Flower, D.R., Lewis, A.P., Mabey, J.E., Scordis, P., Selley, J. and Wright, W. (2000) PRINTS-S: the database formerly known as PRINTS. Nucleic Acids Res., 28,
4. Wright, W., Scordis, P. and Attwood, T.K. (1999) BLAST PRINTS - An alternative perspective on sequence similarity. Bioinformatics, 15, 523-524.
5. Scordis, P., Flower, D.R. and Attwood, T.K. (1999) FingerPRINTScan: Intelligent searching of the PRINTS motif database. Bioinformatics, 15, 799
6. Apweiler R., Attwood, T.K., Bairoch A., Bateman, A., Birney, E., Biswas, M., Bucher, P., Cerutti, L, Corpet, F., Croning, M.D.R., Durbin, R.,Falquet, L., Fleischmann, W., Gouzy, J., Hermjakob, H., Hulo, N., Jonassen, I., Kahn, D., Kanapin, A., Karavidopoulou, Y., Lopez, R., Marx, B., Mulder, N. J., Oinn, T.M., Pagni, M., Servant, F., Sigrist, C. J. A. and Zdobnov, E. M. (2001) The InterPro database, an integrated documentation resource for protein families, domains and functional sites. Nucleic Acids Res., 29, 37-40.

Go to the abstract in the NAR 2003 Database Issue.
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