How to: Find the function of a gene or gene product

Starting with...

A GENE NAME

  1. From the NCBI home page, click on the Search pull-down menu to select the Gene database, type the Gene Name in the text box and click Go. See Gene Help for tips searching Gene.

  2. Locate the desired Gene record in the results and click the symbol to open the record.

  3. Functional information will be located in the Summary, Bibliography, and General gene info sections. Also, see the Links list for resources such as Conserved Domains and BioSystems.

A PROTEIN ACCESSION NUMBER (e.g. NP_005537)

  1. From the NCBI home page, search All Databases by typing the accession number in the search box and click the Go button.

  2. Select the Gene database on the results page, if possible, and continue with step 3 in the "A Gene Name" section above. If there are no records identified in the Gene database for your search, select the Protein database.

  3. If you are viewing a Protein record, click on "More about the xxx gene" link in the right hand side of the page (you may need to scroll down to find it). Continue with step 3 in the "A Gene Name" section above.
  4. If there is no "More about the xxx gene" link, in the upper right of this Protein record page you can "Analyze this sequence" by clicking on "Identify Conserved Domains". The resulting page will list information about functional domains within the protein.

A NUCLEOTIDE ACCESSION NUMBER (e.g. NM_001126)

  1. From the NCBI home page, search All Databases by typing the accession number in the search box and click the Go button.

  2. Select the Gene database on the results page, if possible, and continue with step 3 in the "A Gene Name" section above. If there are no records identified in the Gene database for your search, select the Nucleotide database.

  3. If you are viewing a Nucleotide record, click on "More about the xxx gene" link in the right hand side of the page (you may need to scroll down to find it). Continue with step 3 in the "A Gene Name" section above.
  4. If there is no "More about the xxx gene" link, in the lower right of this Nucleotide record page look for a link to Related Sequences, Protein or PubMed in the "All Links to this Record" section. Also, you may be able to "Analyze this sequence" by clicking on "Run BLAST" to find related nucleotide sequences with BLASTn or related protein sequences with BLASTx. Some of these records will have direct links to their "Gene" page which will may provide functional information such as that described above in the "A Gene Name" section's step 3.

A PROTEIN SEQUENCE

  1. Go to the BLAST home page and click "protein blast" under Basic BLAST.
  2. Paste the sequence in the query box and click the BLAST button.
  3. Click on the accession number of the desired sequence from the results and continue with step 4 in the "A Protein Accession Number" section above.

A NUCLEOTIDE SEQUENCE

  1. Go to the BLAST home page and click "nucleotide blast" under Basic BLAST.
  2. Paste the sequence in the query box, choose a database, and click the BLAST button.
  3. Click on the accession number of the desired sequence from the results and continue with step 4 in the "A Nucleotide Accession Number" section above.
  4. Also, consider running a BLASTx search with the sequence to identify related proteins.
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