Standard Article

Profile Searching

  1. Kay Hofmann

Published Online: 23 SEP 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0005259



How to Cite

Hofmann, K. 2005. Profile Searching. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. MEMOREC Stoffel GmbH, Cologne, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 SEP 2005


A profile is a computational representation of sequence properties derived from a family of related proteins. Analogous to single sequences, profiles can be used for database searches using a dynamic programming algorithm. Because profiles allow position-specific scoring systems and gap parameters, profile searches offer a greatly increased sensitivity in detecting distant protein relationships.


  • sequence analysis;
  • alignment;
  • evolutionary distance;
  • homology;
  • statistical significance