In molecular biology, the PRINTS database is a collection of so-called "fingerprints": it provides both a detailed annotation resource for protein families, and a diagnostic tool for newly-determined sequences. A fingerprint is a group of conserved motifs taken from a multiple sequence alignment - together, the motifs form a characteristic signature for the aligned protein family. The motifs themselves are not necessarily contiguous in sequence, but may come together in 3D space to define molecular binding sites or interaction surfaces. The particular diagnostic strength of fingerprints lies in their ability to distinguish sequence differences at the clan, superfamily, family and subfamily levels. This allows fine-grained functional diagnoses of uncharacterised sequences, allowing, for example, discrimination between family members on the basis of the ligands they bind or the proteins with which they interact, and highlighting potential oligomerisation or allosteric sites.

PRINTS is a founding partner of the integrated resource, InterPro, a widely used database of protein families, domains and functional sites.

Famous quotes containing the word prints:

    Unfortunately, it is much easier to shut one’s eyes to good than to evil. Pain and sorrow knock at our doors more loudly than pleasure and happiness; and the prints of their heavy footsteps are less easily effaced.
    Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–95)

    On the pavement
    of my trampled soul
    the soles of madmen
    stamp the prints of rude, crude words.
    Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893–1930)

    An editor is someone who separates the wheat from the chaff and then prints the chaff.
    Adlai Stevenson (1900–1965)