Tuesday, August 4, 2020

UniProt COVID-19 portal: Supporting research during the pandemic


Responding to the urgency of the pandemic, UniProt created and is continuing to develop a dedicated portal to provide access to the latest pre-release annotations and sequences for proteins related to COVID-19. It is released independently of UniProt’s 8 weekly release schedule. It can be accessed via https://covid-19.uniprot.org/ and all sequences can also be downloaded directly via our FTP site ftp://ftp.uniprot.org/pub/databases/uniprot/pre_release/.

An integrated source of sequence, function and links to specialist resources


The portal provides SARS-CoV-2 annotated protein sequences, closest SARS-CoV 2003 sequences and human sequences relevant to the biology of viral infection. The SARS-CoV-2 proteome is annotated based on expert curation of literature and the knowledge extracted from the well-studied SARS-CoV virus. Rule-based automatic annotation also allows us to add information from a broader taxonomic range of viruses. Links to structures, drugs, interactions, molecular pathways as well as many other resources provide integrated information to help understand the biology and investigate routes to treatment.


The annotated UniProtKB entries include functional and positional annotations. The microbial infection information and essential positions and structures for the virus infection are also documented in these records. Each protein entry provides annotations such as the catalytic activity and function, Gene Ontology terms, 3D structures, interactions, external links to resources like IntAct, ChEMBL, DrugBank, PDBe-KB, etc, and the ProtVista visualisation of positional annotations on the sequence space. Within entries, the mature products that result from proteolytic cleavage of precursor proteins can be identified with UniProt product identifiers.

Contribute and explore literature about COVID-19

The portal provides access to the latest literature related to the virus and host protein through a link to LitCovid and a link to UniProt’s community literature submissions. Users can also contribute relevant publications through the ‘Add a publication’ link present in each entry.


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