A Tutorial on Protein Ontology Resources for Proteomic Studies

  • Cecilia N. Arighi
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 694)


The protein ontology (PRO) is designed as a formal and well-principled open biomedical ontologies (OBO) foundry ontology for proteins. The components of PRO extend from the classification of proteins, on the basis of evolutionary relationships at the full-length level, to the representation of the multiple protein forms of a gene, such as those resulting from alternative splicing, cleavage and/or posttranslational modifications, and protein complexes. As an ontology, PRO differs from a database in that it provides description about the protein types and their relationships. In addition, the representation of specific protein types, such as a phosphorylated protein form, allows precise definition of objects in pathways, complexes, or in disease modeling. This is useful for proteomics studies where isoforms and modified forms must be differentiated, and for biological pathway/network representation where the cascade of events often depends on a specific protein modification. PRO is manually curated starting with content derived from scientific literature. Only annotation with experimental evidence is included, and is in the form of relationship to other ontologies. In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the PRO resources to gain information about proteins of interest, such as finding conserved isoforms (ortho-isoforms), and different modified forms and their attributes. In addition, it will provide some details on how you can contribute to the ontology via the rapid annotation interface RACE-PRO.

Key words

Biomedical ontology Protein ontology Community annotation Protein 



PRO Consortium participants: Protein Information Resource, The Jackson Laboratory, Reactome, and the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. PRO is funded by NIH grant #R01 GM080646-01.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecilia N. Arighi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information SciencesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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