TarO: a target optimisation system for structural biology

I M Overton, C A van Niekerk, L G Carter, A Dawson, D M Martin, S Cameron, S A McMahon, Malcolm F White, W N Hunter, Jim Naismith, G J Barton

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TarO (http://www.compbio.dundee.ac.uk/taro) offers a single point of reference for key bioinformatics analyses relevant to selecting proteins or domains for study by structural biology techniques. The protein sequence is analysed by 17 algorithms and compared to 8 databases. TarO gathers putative homologues, including orthologues, and then obtains predictions of properties for these sequences including crystallisation propensity, protein disorder and post-translational modifications. Analyses are run on a high-performance computing cluster, the results integrated, stored in a database and accessed through a web-based user interface. Output is in tabulated format and in the form of an annotated multiple sequence alignment (MSA) that may be edited interactively in the program Jalview. TarO also simplifies the gathering of additional annotations via the Distributed Annotation System, both from the MSA in Jalview and through links to Dasty2. Routes to other information gateways are included, for example to relevant pages from UniProt, COG and the Conserved Domains Database. Open access to TarO is available from a guest account with private accounts for academic use available on request. Future development of TarO will include further analysis steps and integration with the Protein Information Management System (PIMS), a sister project in the BBSRC Structural Proteomics of Rational Targets initiative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)W190-W196
Number of pages7
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue numbersuppl 2
Early online date2 Apr 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Secondary structure Prediction
  • Multiple sequence Alignment
  • Protein sequences
  • High-throughput
  • Genomics
  • Database
  • Disorder
  • Proteomics
  • Evolution
  • Selection


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  • BBSRC BBS/B/14426: SPORT

    Naismith, J.



    Project: Standard

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