PSI:Biology-materials repository: A biologist's resource for protein expression plasmids

Catherine Y. Cormier, Jin Park, Michael Fiacco, Jason Steel, Preston Hunter, Jason Kramer, Rajeev Singla, Joshua LaBaer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The Protein Structure Initiative:Biology-Materials Repository (PSI:Biology-MR; MR; http://psimr.asu. edu) sequence-verifies, annotates, stores, and distributes the protein expression plasmids and vectors created by the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI). The MR has developed an informatics and sample processing pipeline that manages this process for thousands of samples per month from nearly a dozen PSI centers. DNASU (, a freely searchable database, stores the plasmid annotations, which include the full-length sequence, vector information, and associated publications for over 130,000 plasmids created by our laboratory, by the PSI and other consortia, and by individual laboratories for distribution to researchers worldwide. Each plasmid links to external resources, including the PSI Structural Biology Knowledgebase (, which facilitates cross-referencing of a particular plasmid to additional protein annotations and experimental data. To expedite and simplify plasmid requests, the MR uses an expedited material transfer agreement (EP-MTA) network, where researchers from network institutions can order and receive PSI plasmids without institutional delays. As of March 2011, over 39,000 protein expression plasmids and 78 empty vectors from the PSI are available upon request from DNASU. Overall, the MR's repository of expression-ready plasmids, its automated pipeline, and the rapid process for receiving and distributing these plasmids more effectively allows the research community to dissect the biological function of proteins whose structures have been studied by the PSI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Structural and Functional Genomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • PSI:Biology
  • Plasmid
  • Protein expression
  • Protein structure initiative
  • Structural biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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