Ontologies for proteomics: towards a systematic definition of structure and function that scales to the genome level

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2003 Feb;7(1):44-54. doi: 10.1016/s1367-5931(02)00020-0.


A principal aim of post-genomic biology is elucidating the structures, functions and biochemical properties of all gene products in a genome. However, to adequately comprehend such a large amount of information we need new descriptions of proteins that scale to the genomic level. In short, we need a unified ontology for proteomics. Much progress has been made towards this end, including a variety of approaches to systematic structural and functional classification and initial work towards developing standardized, unified descriptions for protein properties. In relation to function, there is a particularly great diversity of approaches, involving placing a protein in structured hierarchies or more-generalized networks and a recent approach based on circumscribing a protein's function through systematic enumeration of molecular interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Genes
  • Genome
  • Information Management
  • Proteins / classification*
  • Proteomics*


  • Proteins