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Database information


General information

Description: SUPERFAMILY is a database of structural and functional annotation for all proteins and genomes.
Year founded: 2001
Last update: 2013-03-06
Version: v1.75
Real time : Checking...
Country/Region: United Kingdom
Data type:
Data object:
Database category:
Major organism:

Contact information

University/Institution: University of Bristol
Address: Bristol,BS8 1UB,UK
City: Bristol
Country/Region: United Kingdom
Contact name (PI/Team): Matt E. Oates
Contact email (PI/Helpdesk):

Record metadata

Created on: 2015-06-20
Curated by:
Dong Zou [2019-01-02]
Lina Ma [2018-06-04]
Dong Zou [2018-03-06]
Lin Xia [2016-03-28]
Lin Xia [2015-06-26]


All databases:
108/4549 (97.648%)
11/615 (98.374%)
Gene genome and annotation:
52/1212 (95.792%)
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The SUPERFAMILY 2.0 database: a significant proteome update and a new webserver. [PMID: 30445555]
Pandurangan AP, Stahlhacke J, Oates ME, Smithers B, Gough J.

Here, we present a major update to the SUPERFAMILY database and the webserver. We describe the addition of new SUPERFAMILY 2.0 profile HMM library containing a total of 27 623 HMMs. The database now includes Superfamily domain annotations for millions of protein sequences taken from the Universal Protein Recourse Knowledgebase (UniProtKB) and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). This addition constitutes about 51 and 45 million distinct protein sequences obtained from UniProtKB and NCBI respectively. Currently, the database contains annotations for 63 244 and 102 151 complete genomes taken from UniProtKB and NCBI respectively. The current sequence collection and genome update is the biggest so far in the history of SUPERFAMILY updates. In order to the deal with the massive wealth of information, here we introduce a new SUPERFAMILY 2.0 webserver ( Currently, the webserver mainly focuses on the search, retrieval and display of Superfamily annotation for the entire sequence and genome collection in the database.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2019:47(D1) | 9 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-07-11)
The SUPERFAMILY 1.75 database in 2014: a doubling of data. [PMID: 25414345]
Oates ME, Stahlhacke J, Vavoulis DV, Smithers B, Rackham OJ, Sardar AJ, Zaucha J, Thurlby N, Fang H, Gough J.

We present updates to the SUPERFAMILY 1.75 ( online resource and protein sequence collection. The hidden Markov model library that provides sequence homology to SCOP structural domains remains unchanged at version 1.75. In the last 4 years SUPERFAMILY has more than doubled its holding of curated complete proteomes over all cellular life, from 1400 proteomes reported previously in 2010 up to 3258 at present. Outside of the main sequence collection, SUPERFAMILY continues to provide domain annotation for sequences provided by other resources such as: UniProt, Ensembl, PDB, much of JGI Phytozome and selected subcollections of NCBI RefSeq. Despite this growth in data volume, SUPERFAMILY now provides users with an expanded and daily updated phylogenetic tree of life (sTOL). This tree is built with genomic-scale domain annotation data as before, but constantly updated when new species are introduced to the sequence library. Our Gene Ontology and other functional and phenotypic annotations previously reported have stood up to critical assessment by the function prediction community. We have now introduced these data in an integrated manner online at the level of an individual sequence, and--in the case of whole genomes--with enrichment analysis against a taxonomically defined background. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2015:43(Database issue) | 40 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-07-11)
SUPERFAMILY--sophisticated comparative genomics, data mining, visualization and phylogeny. [PMID: 19036790]
Wilson D, Pethica R, Zhou Y, Talbot C, Vogel C, Madera M, Chothia C, Gough J.

SUPERFAMILY provides structural, functional and evolutionary information for proteins from all completely sequenced genomes, and large sequence collections such as UniProt. Protein domain assignments for over 900 genomes are included in the database, which can be accessed at Hidden Markov models based on Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP) domain definitions at the superfamily level are used to provide structural annotation. We recently produced a new model library based on SCOP 1.73. Family level assignments are also available. From the web site users can submit sequences for SCOP domain classification; search for keywords such as superfamilies, families, organism names, models and sequence identifiers; find over- and underrepresented families or superfamilies within a genome relative to other genomes or groups of genomes; compare domain architectures across selections of genomes and finally build multiple sequence alignments between Protein Data Bank (PDB), genomic and custom sequences. Recent extensions to the database include InterPro abstracts and Gene Ontology terms for superfamiles, taxonomic visualization of the distribution of families across the tree of life, searches for functionally similar domain architectures and phylogenetic trees. The database, models and associated scripts are available for download from the ftp site.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2009:37(Database issue) | 196 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-07-11)
The SUPERFAMILY database in 2007: families and functions. [PMID: 17098927]
Wilson D, Madera M, Vogel C, Chothia C, Gough J.

The SUPERFAMILY database provides protein domain assignments, at the SCOP 'superfamily' level, for the predicted protein sequences in over 400 completed genomes. A superfamily groups together domains of different families which have a common evolutionary ancestor based on structural, functional and sequence data. SUPERFAMILY domain assignments are generated using an expert curated set of profile hidden Markov models. All models and structural assignments are available for browsing and download from The web interface includes services such as domain architectures and alignment details for all protein assignments, searchable domain combinations, domain occurrence network visualization, detection of over- or under-represented superfamilies for a given genome by comparison with other genomes, assignment of manually submitted sequences and keyword searches. In this update we describe the SUPERFAMILY database and outline two major developments: (i) incorporation of family level assignments and (ii) a superfamily-level functional annotation. The SUPERFAMILY database can be used for general protein evolution and superfamily-specific studies, genomic annotation, and structural genomics target suggestion and assessment.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2007:35(Database issue) | 124 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-07-11)
The SUPERFAMILY database in 2004: additions and improvements. [PMID: 14681402]
Madera M, Vogel C, Kummerfeld SK, Chothia C, Gough J.

The SUPERFAMILY database provides structural assignments to protein sequences and a framework for analysis of the results. At the core of the database is a library of profile Hidden Markov Models that represent all proteins of known structure. The library is based on the SCOP classification of proteins: each model corresponds to a SCOP domain and aims to represent an entire superfamily. We have applied the library to predicted proteins from all completely sequenced genomes (currently 154), the Swiss-Prot and TrEMBL databases and other sequence collections. Close to 60% of all proteins have at least one match, and one half of all residues are covered by assignments. All models and full results are available for download and online browsing at Users can study the distribution of their superfamily of interest across all completely sequenced genomes, investigate with which other superfamilies it combines and retrieve proteins in which it occurs. Alternatively, concentrating on a particular genome as a whole, it is possible first, to find out its superfamily composition, and secondly, to compare it with that of other genomes to detect superfamilies that are over- or under-represented. In addition, the webserver provides the following standard services: sequence search; keyword search for genomes, superfamilies and sequence identifiers; and multiple alignment of genomic, PDB and custom sequences.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2004:32(Database issue) | 144 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-07-11)
The SUPERFAMILY database in structural genomics. [PMID: 12393919]
Gough J.

The SUPERFAMILY hidden Markov model library representing all proteins of known structure predicts the domain architecture of protein sequences and classifies them at the SCOP superfamily level. This analysis has been carried out on all completely sequenced genomes. The ways in which the database can be useful to crystallographers is discussed, in particular with a view to high-throughput structure determination. The application of the SUPERFAMILY database to different target-selection strategies is suggested: novel folds, novel domain combinations and targeted attacks on genomes. Use of the database for more general inquiry in the context of structural studies is also explained. The database provides evolutionary relationships between target proteins and other proteins of known structure through the SCOP database, genome assignments and multiple sequence alignments.

Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2002:58(Pt 11) | 19 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-07-11)
SUPERFAMILY: HMMs representing all proteins of known structure. SCOP sequence searches, alignments and genome assignments. [PMID: 11752312]
Gough J, Chothia C.

The SUPERFAMILY database contains a library of hidden Markov models representing all proteins of known structure. The database is based on the SCOP 'superfamily' level of protein domain classification which groups together the most distantly related proteins which have a common evolutionary ancestor. There is a public server at which provides three services: sequence searching, multiple alignments to sequences of known structure, and structural assignments to all complete genomes. Given an amino acid or nucleotide query sequence the server will return the domain architecture and SCOP classification. The server produces alignments of the query sequences with sequences of known structure, and includes multiple alignments of genome and PDB sequences. The structural assignments are carried out on all complete genomes (currently 59) covering approximately half of the soluble protein domains. The assignments, superfamily breakdown and statistics on them are available from the server. The database is currently used by this group and others for genome annotation, structural genomics, gene prediction and domain-based genomic studies.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2002:30(1) | 163 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-07-11)
Assignment of homology to genome sequences using a library of hidden Markov models that represent all proteins of known structure. [PMID: 11697912]
Gough J, Karplus K, Hughey R, Chothia C.

Of the sequence comparison methods, profile-based methods perform with greater selectively than those that use pairwise comparisons. Of the profile methods, hidden Markov models (HMMs) are apparently the best. The first part of this paper describes calculations that (i) improve the performance of HMMs and (ii) determine a good procedure for creating HMMs for sequences of proteins of known structure. For a family of related proteins, more homologues are detected using multiple models built from diverse single seed sequences than from one model built from a good alignment of those sequences. A new procedure is described for detecting and correcting those errors that arise at the model-building stage of the procedure. These two improvements greatly increase selectivity and coverage. The second part of the paper describes the construction of a library of HMMs, called SUPERFAMILY, that represent essentially all proteins of known structure. The sequences of the domains in proteins of known structure, that have identities less than 95 %, are used as seeds to build the models. Using the current data, this gives a library with 4894 models. The third part of the paper describes the use of the SUPERFAMILY model library to annotate the sequences of over 50 genomes. The models match twice as many target sequences as are matched by pairwise sequence comparison methods. For each genome, close to half of the sequences are matched in all or in part and, overall, the matches cover 35 % of eukaryotic genomes and 45 % of bacterial genomes. On average roughly 15% of genome sequences are labelled as being hypothetical yet homologous to proteins of known structure. The annotations derived from these matches are available from a public web server at: This server also enables users to match their own sequences against the SUPERFAMILY model library. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

J Mol Biol. 2001:313(4) | 665 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-07-11)