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Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 Jan 1;29(1):205-6.

Kabat Database and its applications: future directions.

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  • 1Departments of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, and Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


The Kabat Database was initially started in 1970 to determine the combining site of antibodies based on the available amino acid sequences. The precise delineation of complementarity determining regions (CDR) of both light and heavy chains provides the first example of how properly aligned sequences can be used to derive structural and functional information of biological macromolecules. This knowledge has subsequently been applied to the construction of artificial antibodies with prescribed specificities, and to many other studies. The Kabat database now includes nucleotide sequences, sequences of T cell receptors for antigens (TCR), major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II molecules, and other proteins of immunological interest. While new sequences are continually added into this database, we have undertaken the task of developing more analytical methods to study the information content of this collection of aligned sequences. New examples of analysis will be illustrated on a yearly basis. The Kabat Database and its applications are freely available at

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