PSI:Biology-materials repository: a biologist’s resource for protein expression plasmids

  • Catherine Y. Cormier
  • Jin G. Park
  • Michael Fiacco
  • Jason Steel
  • Preston Hunter
  • Jason Kramer
  • Rajeev Singla
  • Joshua LaBaerEmail author


The Protein Structure Initiative:Biology-Materials Repository (PSI:Biology-MR; MR; sequence-verifies, annotates, stores, and distributes the protein expression plasmids and vectors created by the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI). The MR has developed an informatics and sample processing pipeline that manages this process for thousands of samples per month from nearly a dozen PSI centers. DNASU (, a freely searchable database, stores the plasmid annotations, which include the full-length sequence, vector information, and associated publications for over 130,000 plasmids created by our laboratory, by the PSI and other consortia, and by individual laboratories for distribution to researchers worldwide. Each plasmid links to external resources, including the PSI Structural Biology Knowledgebase (, which facilitates cross-referencing of a particular plasmid to additional protein annotations and experimental data. To expedite and simplify plasmid requests, the MR uses an expedited material transfer agreement (EP-MTA) network, where researchers from network institutions can order and receive PSI plasmids without institutional delays. As of March 2011, over 39,000 protein expression plasmids and 78 empty vectors from the PSI are available upon request from DNASU. Overall, the MR’s repository of expression-ready plasmids, its automated pipeline, and the rapid process for receiving and distributing these plasmids more effectively allows the research community to dissect the biological function of proteins whose structures have been studied by the PSI.


Plasmid Structural biology Protein structure initiative PSI:Biology Protein expression 



The PSI:Biology-MR team would like to thank all of the PIs and researchers in the PSI network for their collaboration, help and effort in supporting the MR. Thanks to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) for funding, suggestions and support, in particular, thanks to Jean Chin and Ward Smith. Thanks also to our Advisory Board, Peter Cherbas, Cheryl Arrowsmith, Gerhard Wagner, Stephen Burley, and Stephen Bryant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Y. Cormier
    • 1
  • Jin G. Park
    • 1
  • Michael Fiacco
    • 1
  • Jason Steel
    • 1
  • Preston Hunter
    • 1
  • Jason Kramer
    • 1
  • Rajeev Singla
    • 1
  • Joshua LaBaer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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