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What are the differences between UniProtKB keywords and the GO terms?

Last modified September 12, 2013

UniProtKB keywords are controlled vocabulary developed according to the need and content of UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot entries. They provide a summary of the entry content and are used to index entries based on 10 categories. Each keyword is attributed manually to UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot entries and automatically to UniProtKB/TrEMBL entries (according to specific annotation rules).

The Gene Ontology project (GO) provides a controlled vocabulary to describe gene and gene product attributes in any organism. This controlled vocabulary is developed independently of any existing databases. There are 3 disjoint categories: cellular component, molecular function and biological process. An important task is to map the GO terms with the gene and gene products and introduce them into databases via automatic (electronic) or manual annotation.

In UniProtKB, GO terms are manually mapped to keywords, EC number, InterPro matches or HAMAP family rules and only then transferred automatically to the entries. Direct GO annotation in UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot entries is entirely manual.

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