With the rapid growth of sequence databases, there is an increasing need for reliable functional characterisation and annotation of newly predicted proteins. To cope with such large data volumes, faster and more effective means of protein sequence characterisation and annotation are required. One promising approach is automatic large-scale functional characterisation and annotation, which is generated with limited human interaction. However, such an approach is heavily dependent on reliable data sources. The SWISS-PROT protein sequence database plays an essential role here owing to its high level of functional information.