Today, scientists have access to a large amount of biological information through the Internet. Nevertheless, these databases do not always have the endorsement of experimental evidence, and are usually distributed in several web locations, a fact that makes information retrieval difficult to achieve.
The Human Proteinpedia (www.humanproteinpedia.org) is born from this need to break down barriers. It is a protein “Wikipedia”, pioneer in this area, allowing researchers to share and integrate -freely- information regarding the set of proteins expressed by the human genome.
This new resource of scientific information would not have been possible without the participation of 71 laboratories of genetics and proteomics from around the globe. The Spanish participation in this project is represented by the Research Group on Human Genetics, of the Institut d’Investigacions August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS)/Faculty of Medicine (Universitat de Barcelona), with Dr. Rafael Oliva, Dr. Juan Martínez-Heredia, and Dr. José Manuel Vidal, and the Unit of Genomics and Proteomics of the Cancer Research Centre (Universidad de Salamanca-CSIC) led by Dr. Xosé R. Bustelo and Dr. Nieves Ibarrola.
The main objective of the Human Proteinpedia is to promote the exchange of genetic information among researchers. With this aim, it offers a standard and centred vision of the proteome, i. e., the whole of sequences of proteins encoded by the human genome and information associated to it. Registered users will be able to include, retrieve and share data about sequences, structures or mutations validated by experimental evidence, since original information can only be modified by the user that has contributed that piece of data.
Thus, the information deposited in the Human Proteinpedia forms an unprecedented database which helps comparing and interpreting protein sequences supplied by the scientific community. The main aim of this tool, which has been under operation for about a year, is to integrate and share the identification and sequencing of proteins in published studies, which will permit to make progress in the study of genes and of the proteins involved in human pathologies.
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