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Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan;39(Database issue):D761-70. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq1059. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

The protein common interface database (ProtCID)--a comprehensive database of interactions of homologous proteins in multiple crystal forms.

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  • 1Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.


The protein common interface database (ProtCID) is a database that contains clusters of similar homodimeric and heterodimeric interfaces observed in multiple crystal forms (CFs). Such interfaces, especially of homologous but non-identical proteins, have been associated with biologically relevant interactions. In ProtCID, protein chains in the protein data bank (PDB) are grouped based on their PFAM domain architectures. For a single PFAM architecture, all the dimers present in each CF are constructed and compared with those in other CFs that contain the same domain architecture. Interfaces occurring in two or more CFs comprise an interface cluster in the database. The same process is used to compare heterodimers of chains with different domain architectures. By examining interfaces that are shared by many homologous proteins in different CFs, we find that the PDB and the Protein Interfaces, Surfaces, and Assemblies (PISA) are not always consistent in their annotations of biological assemblies in a homologous family. Our data therefore provide an independent check on publicly available annotations of the structures of biological interactions for PDB entries. Common interfaces may also be useful in studies of protein evolution. Coordinates for all interfaces in a cluster are downloadable for further analysis. ProtCiD is available at

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