The mission of the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) (http://www.uniprot.org) is to support biological research by providing a freely accessible, stable, comprehensive, fully classified, richly and accurately annotated protein sequence knowledgebase. It integrates, interprets and standardizes data from numerous resources to achieve the most comprehensive catalogue of protein sequences and functional annotation. UniProt comprises four major components, each optimized for different uses, the UniProt Archive, the UniProt Knowledgebase, the UniProt Reference Clusters and the UniProt Metagenomic and Environmental Sequence Database. UniProt is produced by the UniProt Consortium, which consists of groups from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) and the Protein Information Resource (PIR). UniProt is updated and distributed every 4 weeks and can be accessed online for searches or downloads.