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Nucleic Acids Res. 1997 Sep 1;25(17):3389-402.

Gapped BLAST and PSI-BLAST: a new generation of protein database search programs.

Author information

  • 1National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA. altschul@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Abstract

The BLAST programs are widely used tools for searching protein and DNA databases for sequence similarities. For protein comparisons, a variety of definitional, algorithmic and statistical refinements described here permits the execution time of the BLAST programs to be decreased substantially while enhancing their sensitivity to weak similarities. A new criterion for triggering the extension of word hits, combined with a new heuristic for generating gapped alignments, yields a gapped BLAST program that runs at approximately three times the speed of the original. In addition, a method is introduced for automatically combining statistically significant alignments produced by BLAST into a position-specific score matrix, and searching the database using this matrix. The resulting Position-Specific Iterated BLAST (PSI-BLAST) program runs at approximately the same speed per iteration as gapped BLAST, but in many cases is much more sensitive to weak but biologically relevant sequence similarities. PSI-BLAST is used to uncover several new and interesting members of the BRCT superfamily.

PMID:
9254694
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC146917
Free PMC Article
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