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The value of protein structure classification information-Surveying the scientific literature.

  • Author(s): Fox, Naomi K
  • Brenner, Steven E
  • Chandonia, John-Marc
  • et al.

The Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP) and Class, Architecture, Topology, Homology (CATH) databases have been valuable resources for protein structure classification for over 20 years. Development of SCOP (version 1) concluded in June 2009 with SCOP 1.75. The SCOPe (SCOP-extended) database offers continued development of the classic SCOP hierarchy, adding over 33,000 structures. We have attempted to assess the impact of these two decade old resources and guide future development. To this end, we surveyed recent articles to learn how structure classification data are used. Of 571 articles published in 2012-2013 that cite SCOP, 439 actually use data from the resource. We found that the type of use was fairly evenly distributed among four top categories: A) study protein structure or evolution (27% of articles), B) train and/or benchmark algorithms (28% of articles), C) augment non-SCOP datasets with SCOP classification (21% of articles), and D) examine the classification of one protein/a small set of proteins (22% of articles). Most articles described computational research, although 11% described purely experimental research, and a further 9% included both. We examined how CATH and SCOP were used in 158 articles that cited both databases: while some studies used only one dataset, the majority used data from both resources. Protein structure classification remains highly relevant for a diverse range of problems and settings.

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