The PRINTS database: a fine-grained protein sequence annotation and analysis resource--its status in 2012

Database (Oxford). 2012 Apr 15;2012:bas019. doi: 10.1093/database/bas019. Print 2012.


The PRINTS database, now in its 21st year, houses a collection of diagnostic protein family 'fingerprints'. Fingerprints are groups of conserved motifs, evident in multiple sequence alignments, whose unique inter-relationships provide distinctive signatures for particular protein families and structural/functional domains. As such, they may be used to assign uncharacterized sequences to known families, and hence to infer tentative functional, structural and/or evolutionary relationships. The February 2012 release (version 42.0) includes 2156 fingerprints, encoding 12 444 individual motifs, covering a range of globular and membrane proteins, modular polypeptides and so on. Here, we report the current status of the database, and introduce a number of recent developments that help both to render a variety of our annotation and analysis tools easier to use and to make them more widely available. Database URL:

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • User-Computer Interface


  • Proteins