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Genome Res. 1995 Sep;5(2):173-84.

BEAUTY: an enhanced BLAST-based search tool that integrates multiple biological information resources into sequence similarity search results.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, W.M. Keck Center for Computational Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. kworiey@bcm.tmc.edu


BEAUTY (BLAST enhanced alignment utility) is an enhanced version of the NCBI's BLAST data base search tool that facilitates identification of the functions of matched sequences. We have created new data bases of conserved regions and functional domains for protein sequences in NCBI's Entrez data base, and BEAUTY allows this information to be incorporated directly into BLAST search results. A Conserved Regions Data Base, containing the locations of conserved regions within Entrez protein sequences, was constructed by (1) clustering the entire data base into families, (2) aligning each family using our PIMA multiple sequence alignment program, and (3) scanning the multiple alignments to locate the conserved regions within each aligned sequence. A separate Annotated Domains Data Base was constructed by extracting the locations of all annotated domains and sites from sequences represented in the Entrez, PROSITE, BLOCKS, and PRINTS data bases. BEAUTY performs a BLAST search of those Entrez sequences with conserved regions and/or annotated domains. BEAUTY then uses the information from the Conserved Regions and Annotated Domains data bases to generate, for each matched sequence, a schematic display that allows one to directly compare the relative locations of (1) the conserved regions, (2) annotated domains and sites, and (3) the locally aligned regions matched in the BLAST search. In addition, BEAUTY search results include World-Wide Web hypertext links to a number of external data bases that provide a variety of additional types of information on the function of matched sequences. This convenient integration of protein families, conserved regions, annotated domains, alignment displays, and World-Wide Web resources greatly enhances the biological informativeness of sequence similarity searches. BEAUTY searches can be performed remotely on our system using the "BCM Search Launcher" World-Wide Web pages (URL is < http:/ /gc.bcm.tmc.edu:8088/ search-launcher/launcher.html > ).

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