May 1, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 9)
Strong Points: Provides sequences as well as disease information
Weak Points: Some features may be unavailable due to site update
This is a site to keep an eye on, despite the fact that (while writing this) the homepage flashed the disclaimer that the page is “currently undergoing radical software updates.” Curated by the Centre for Molecular Medicine and the Bioinformatics Institute in Singapore, the Human Intermediate Filament Database includes sequence information for the various genes encoding intermediate filaments. These proteins are vitally important to the integrity of the cytoskeleton of a cell, and mutations in these genes have been implicated in a number of dermatological conditions. The database looks to catalog such genetic variations in these genes, and indeed, visitors to the site are invited to submit variants to the database. Beyond providing sequence information, the website also includes information about different intermediate filament disorders, as well as a number of links to other resources (a large number of which are for patient support groups).