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Toxicon. 2005 Mar 1;45(3):293-301. Epub 2004 Dec 15.

Tox-Prot, the toxin protein annotation program of the Swiss-Prot protein knowledgebase.

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  • 1Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Centre Medical Universitaire, 1 rue Michel Servet, 1211 Genève 4, Switzerland. florence.jungo@isb-sib.ch


The Tox-Prot program was initiated in order to provide the scientific community a summary of the current knowledge on animal protein toxins. The aim of this program is to systematically annotate all proteins which act as toxins and are produced by venomous and poisonous animals. Venomous animals such as snakes, scorpions, spiders, jellyfish, insects, cone snails, sea anemones, lizards, some fish, and platypus are equipped with a specialized organ to inject venom in their prey. In contrast, poisonous animals such as some fish or worms, lack such organs. Each toxin is annotated according to the quality standards of Swiss-Prot. This means providing a wealth of information that includes the description of the function, domain structure, subcellular location, tissue specificity, variants, similarities to other proteins, keywords, etc. In the framework of this program, particular care has been made to capture what is known on the function and mode of action, posttranslational modifications and 3D structural data which are all relatively abundant in the field of protein toxins. Researchers are welcome to contribute their knowledge to the scientific community by submitting relevant findings to Swiss-Prot concerning toxins at Tox-Prot@isb-sib.ch. More information on Tox-Prot can be found at http://www.expasy.org/sprot/tox-prot.

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