Background The many Hepadnaviridae sequences available have widely varied functional annotation. C is usually integrated into the database. A large amount of data is usually graphically presented using the GBrowse (Generic Genome Browser) adapted for analysis of viral genomes. Flexible query access is usually provided based on any annotated genomic feature. Novel regulatory motifs can be found by analysing the annotated sequences. Conclusion HBVRegDB serves as a knowledge database and as a comparative genomic 1370554-01-0 supplier analysis tool for molecular biologists investigating HBV. It is publicly available and complementary to other viral and HBV focused datasets and tools http://hbvregdb.otago.ac.nz. The availability of multiple and highly annotated sequences of viral genomes in one database combined with comparative analysis tools facilitates detection of novel genomic elements. Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronically infects about 350 million people worldwide and is a major contributor to liver pathology including hepatitis and carcinoma. A large number of strains, isolates and mutants of the Hepadnaviridae family have been sequenced. For example, a search of Entrez for HBV complete genomes currently (9/2007) retrieves 1114 records, and the Hepatitis Virus Database (HVD) contains over 1000 full-length sequences. The small, just 3.2 kb, genome has been extensively studied C with a PubMed search for ‘HBV genome’ resulting in over 2500 publications. This research has shown that this genome is usually highly packed with information in sequence and structure. This directs processes such as transcription, reverse transcription, replication, nuclear import and export and coding [1-7]. Regulatory elements control this at the DNA, RNA and protein levels, with particular bases known to participate 1370554-01-0 supplier in DNA and RNA elements and also encode more than one protein in alternative frames. During contamination the mutation rate is usually high C estimated to be around 10-5 to 10-4 per base per year . This results in a quasi-species infecting a single individual and may result in some DNA sequences from an individual not being representative of the ‘fittest’ species. Mutants may become prevalent in the population C for example, precore mutations, escape mutations, or antiviral resistance mutations. Recently several international public databases made up of significant hepadnaviral content have become available: the general Viral Reference Sequence genome project [9,10], Hepatitis Virus Database , SEQHEPB , and the HepSeq database . Each has its own focus and utility. The viral RefSeq genome project is usually broad but includes 10 Hepadnaviridae members. It is searchable through Entrez Genomes and linked to other resources including the protein database, NCBI gMap and gene . The HepSeq database is an epidemiological 1370554-01-0 supplier database focussing on epidemiological, clinical nucleotide sequence and mutational aspects of HBV contamination . The Hepatitis Virus Database includes HBV and provides information on genome location and phylogenetic relationships automatically processed from DDBJ . SEQHEPB allows subscribers to analyze genotypes of HBV genomes, including Rabbit polyclonal to HOXA1 key mutations associated with antiviral resistance . However, there is no tool available to combine expert annotation with similarity search methods for molecular biological research into HBV [14-17]. We describe here a genome-based public domain database for the Hepadnaviridae. The database contains data on individual sequences and groups of sequences and 1370554-01-0 supplier facilitates comparative genomic analysis. The complexity of the HBV genome has challenged development of this resource but it will provide a model for other viruses. Methods Sequences for analysis For more detail refer to the documentation in the database. Genome sequences of selected representative viruses of the Hepadnaviridae family were retrieved from NCBI. All retrieved Genbank files were split into fasta-formatted and gff-formatted files. As the virus genomes are circular, some of the parsed Genbank files were manually curated in order to be represented correctly. Processing of data Multiple sequence alignments were produced with ClustalW . All files were then placed in the MySQL database HBVRegDB. To identify conserved viral genomic regions, three blast queries (blastn, tblastx and blastx) were performed on RefSeq Virus release 24 with the parameters shown in Table ?Table1.1. The results were reformatted to create a gff file and the names of the 1370554-01-0 supplier matched sequences were integrated to present them in a meaningful graphical representation. The database will be updated with RefSeq releases. Table 1 The.