BotDB: A database resource for the clostridial neurotoxins


  • Frank J. Lebeda PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Division of Toxinology and Aerobiology, Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA
    • Division of Toxinology and Aerobiology, USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5011
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  • This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.


BotDB is a database designed to encapsulate the rapidly expanding amount of information about the structure and function of the botulinum (BoNT) and tetanus neurotoxins and to track a variety of basic and applied research efforts. The AceDB management system was chosen for this project because of its flexibility in manipulating semistructured data sets and for its information retrieval query languages. In addition to storing amino and nucleic acid sequences of the clostridial neurotoxin genes and proteins, BotDB provides sequence data for new classes of objects, including neurotoxin mutants, substrates and their mutants, associated nontoxic proteins, and C-fragment vaccine candidates. New data types provide information on detection assays for the neurotoxins and on structural data from X-ray crystallographic and circular dichroism spectroscopic studies. Kinetic parameters from biochemical experiments include reaction rates for substrate cleavage and block of neurotransmission. The structures and kinetic characteristics of presently known chemical inhibitors are also being archived. All of these data are associated with citations of the relevant literature for on-line annotation. Graphics viewer programs are provided to display stored images and three-dimensional representations of protein structures. BotDB is in the alpha test phase of development and will become a publicly available Web site. Published 2004 by John Wiley & Sons