The history of the CATH structural classification of protein domains

Biochimie. 2015 Dec;119:209-17. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2015.08.004. Epub 2015 Aug 4.


This article presents a historical review of the protein structure classification database CATH. Together with the SCOP database, CATH remains comprehensive and reasonably up-to-date with the now more than 100,000 protein structures in the PDB. We review the expansion of the CATH and SCOP resources to capture predicted domain structures in the genome sequence data and to provide information on the likely functions of proteins mediated by their constituent domains. The establishment of comprehensive function annotation resources has also meant that domain families can be functionally annotated allowing insights into functional divergence and evolution within protein families.

Keywords: Protein structure; Structure classification.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Databases, Genetic / history
  • Databases, Genetic / trends
  • Databases, Protein / history*
  • Databases, Protein / trends
  • England
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / chemistry
  • Isoenzymes / classification
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Protein Folding
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry*
  • Protein Isoforms / classification
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Structural Homology, Protein


  • Isoenzymes
  • Protein Isoforms