January 15, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 2)


Strong Points: Easy-to-use, high-quality graphics
Weak Points: None


Many readers out there have probably encountered a nice protein topology illustration in a publication—with different amino acid residues colored to reflect, for example, the degree of evolutionary conservation or to simply highlight different functional domains of the protein. If you have subsequently wondered how to make similar illustrations for yourself, then I have a suggestion for you: check out Protter, an open-source online tool that easily allows researchers to create publication-quality protein plots. Developed by the Wollscheid laboratory at ETH Zurich, the Protter tool itself is accompanied by a link to a Google discussion group and a user’s manual. To use Protter, users enter a UniProt protein accession number (of a list of proteins), or they can upload a proteomics result file. They can then easily adjust the display options via the topology, styles, and miscellaneous tabs. The final graphics can be exported in a number of formats such as png or pdf.