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Storm, C.E., Sonnhammer, E.L. (2003). Comprehensive analysis of orthologous protein domains using the HOPS database.  Genome Res. 13(10): 2353--2362.
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Research paper

One of the most reliable methods for protein function annotation is to transfer experimentally known functions from orthologous proteins in other organisms. Most methods for identifying orthologs operate on a subset of organisms with a completely sequenced genome, and treat proteins as single-domain units. However, it is well known that proteins are often made up of several independent domains, and there is a wealth of protein sequences from genomes that are not completely sequenced. A comprehensive set of protein domain families is found in the Pfam database. We wanted to apply orthology detection to Pfam families, but first some issues needed to be addressed. First, orthology detection becomes impractical and unreliable when too many species are included. Second, shorter domains contain less information. It is therefore important to assess the quality of the orthology assignment and avoid very short domains altogether. We present a database of orthologous protein domains in Pfam called HOPS: Hierarchical grouping of Orthologous and Paralogous Sequences. Orthology is inferred in a hierarchic system of phylogenetic subgroups using ortholog bootstrapping. To avoid the frequent errors stemming from horizontally transferred genes in bacteria, the analysis is presently limited to eukaryotic genes. The results are accessible in the graphical browser NIFAS, a Java tool originally developed for analyzing phylogenetic relations within Pfam families. The method was tested on a set of curated orthologs with experimentally verified function. In comparison to tree reconciliation with a complete species tree, our approach finds significantly more orthologs in the test set. Examples for investigating gene fusions and domain recombination using HOPS are given.

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PMC403726 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Genome Res.
    Genome Research
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