Consequences of the discontinuation of the International Protein Index (IPI) database and its substitution by the UniProtKB "complete proteome" sets

Proteomics. 2011 Nov;11(22):4434-8. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201100363. Epub 2011 Oct 17.


The International Protein Index (IPI) database has been one of the most widely used protein databases in MS proteomics approaches. Recently, the closure of IPI in September 2011 was announced. Its recommended replacement is the new UniProt Knowledgebase (UniProtKB) "complete proteome" sets, launched in May 2011. Here, we analyze the consequences of IPI's discontinuation for human and mouse data, and the effect of its substitution with UniProtKB on two levels: (i) data already produced and (ii) newly performed experiments. To estimate the effect on existing data, we investigated how well IPI identifiers map to UniProtKB accessions. We found that 21% of human and 10% of mouse identifiers do not map to UniProtKB and would thus be "lost." To investigate the impact on new experiments, we compared the theoretical search space (i.e. the tryptic peptides) of both resources and found that it is decreased by 14.0% for human and 8.9% for mouse data through IPI's closure. An analysis on the experimental evidence for these "lost" peptides showed that the vast majority has not been identified in experiments available in the major proteomics repositories. It thus seems likely that the search space provided by UniProtKB is of higher quality than the one currently provided by IPI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Computational Biology / organization & administration
  • Database Management Systems*
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Humans
  • Mice