July 1, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 13)
Strong Points: Much information given for each protein
Weak Points: Difficult to search by gene name unless exact
The Universal Protein Resource (better known as UniProt) is a fantastic online one-stop-shop for researchers seeking information about whichever protein they may be studying at the moment. iProteome is a free iPhone app that harnesses the power of UniProt in order to cater to on-the-go scientists. This app allows users to search the entire human protein repository of UniProt by entering a UniProt ID or (in theory) gene name. (I found the search algorithm to be so stringent that it practically rendered the search-by-gene-name option useless. There also appear to be some inconsistencies between the gene names that are accepted by the app and those that are listed on the UniProt website. So start memorizing those UniProt IDs!) Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, it is easy to find details such as molecular mass, implications in disease, post-translational modifications, and information about protein function. For the mass spectrometrists out there, you’ll be happy to find tryptic peptide sequences along with the corresponding b- and y- ions.