JOURNAL ARTICLE

ProFITS of maize: a database of protein families involved in the transduction of signalling in the maize genome

Yi Ling, Zhou Du, Zhenhai Zhang, Zhen Su
BMC Genomics 2010, 11: 580
20955618

BACKGROUND: Maize (Zea mays ssp. mays L.) is an important model for plant basic and applied research. In 2009, the B73 maize genome sequencing made a great step forward, using clone by clone strategy; however, functional annotation and gene classification of the maize genome are still limited. Thus, a well-annotated datasets and informative database will be important for further research discoveries. Signal transduction is a fundamental biological process in living cells, and many protein families participate in this process in sensing, amplifying and responding to various extracellular or internal stimuli. Therefore, it is a good starting point to integrate information on the maize functional genes involved in signal transduction.

RESULTS: Here we introduce a comprehensive database 'ProFITS' (Protein Families Involved in the Transduction of Signalling), which endeavours to identify and classify protein kinases/phosphatases, transcription factors and ubiquitin-proteasome-system related genes in the B73 maize genome. Users can explore gene models, corresponding transcripts and FLcDNAs using the three abovementioned protein hierarchical categories, and visualize them using an AJAX-based genome browser (JBrowse) or Generic Genome Browser (GBrowse). Functional annotations such as GO annotation, protein signatures, protein best-hits in the Arabidopsis and rice genome are provided. In addition, pre-calculated transcription factor binding sites of each gene are generated and mutant information is incorporated into ProFITS. In short, ProFITS provides a user-friendly web interface for studies in signal transduction process in maize.

CONCLUSION: ProFITS, which utilizes both the B73 maize genome and full length cDNA (FLcDNA) datasets, provides users a comprehensive platform of maize annotation with specific focus on the categorization of families involved in the signal transduction process. ProFITS is designed as a user-friendly web interface and it is valuable for experimental researchers. It is freely available now to all users at http://bioinfo.cau.edu.cn/ProFITS.

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