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NAR Molecular Biology Database Collection entry number 389
Huntley, Rachael; Sawford, Tony; Mutowo-Meullenet, Prudence; Shypitsyna, Aleksandra; Bonilla, Carlos; Martin, Maria; O'Donovan, Claire
EMBL - European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

Database Description

he Gene Onotology Annotation (GOA) database is maintained by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and aims to provide assignments of gene products to the Gene Ontology (GO) resource - a dynamic controlled vocabulary that encourages the consistent description of a protein's function, process and location of action. In the GOA project, this vocabulary is being applied to a non-redundant set of proteins described in the EBI's core genome and proteome databases (UniProt Knowledgebase, InterPro and Ensembl) that collectively provide complete and incomplete proteomes for human (GOA-Human), mouse (GOA-Mouse) and rat (GOA-Rat) as well as many other organisms (GOA-UniProt). GOA is produced by electronic and manual techniques and is updated monthly, in accordance with the latest data released by its core databases. The production of GOA-Human is in keeping with our GO Consortium agreement to fast track the functional annotation of the human proteome and with our Human Proteomics Initiative. The release of all our annotation (for >76,000 species) via GOA-UniProt has made the EBI one of the largest resources of GO annotation by providing nearly 5 million annotations (see Statistics on GOA home page). The GOA project also ensures maintenance and sharing of GO mappings to Swiss-Prot keywords and InterPro. These mappings provide a useful resource of functional information for the analysis of microarray and mass spectrometry data. The GOA project also ensures that at least some of the existing corpus of scientific knowledge in our core databases is converted into a computationally accessible form. By annotating all characterized proteins with GO terms and facilitating the transfer of this knowledge to similar uncharacterized proteins, we hope to contribute to a better understanding of all proteomes.

The success and accuracy of our GO annotations rely on frequent electronic and manual checking. We actively encourage updates or corrections and new collaborations from the scientific community to improve this shared resource. For further information about how to use GOA please refer to our home page: or contact us by e-mail to


We are very grateful to the GO consortium and in particular to the UniProt curators and programmers at the EBI. This work was supported by Grants QRLT-2001-00015 and QLRI-2000-00981 of the European Commission and a supplementary NIH grant, 1R01HGO2273-01.

Go to the abstract in the NAR 2015 Database Issue.
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