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Bioinformatics. 2004 Apr 12;20(6):937-44. Epub 2004 Jan 29.

The Hera database and its use in the characterization of endoplasmic reticulum proteins.

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McGill Center for Bioinformatics, Duff Medical Building, McGill University, 3755 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4.



Information concerning endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteins is widely dispersed and cannot be easily and rapidly processed by the biological community. We present a comprehensive database of human ER proteins, called Human ER Aper├žu (Hera). The Hera database was constructed by exhaustively searching through public databases and the scientific literature for ER proteins.


Hera was used for the analysis of characteristics common to all human ER proteins. Our results show that a high proportion of ER proteins (59%) have at least one transmembrane domain and display physical characteristics consistent with this observation. In addition, one-third of ER proteins contain known ER retrieval or retention signals and 70% of ER proteins contain a signal peptide or anchor. Finally, 85% of ER proteins contain at least one InterPro motif. The most abundant InterPro motifs in ER proteins represent many of the most well-characterized functions of the ER.

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