Why does sequence of amino acids presented on the Catalytic Site Atlas from a given protein differs from the sequence on the RSCB Protein Data Bank

Why does sequence of amino acids presented on the Catalytic Site Atlas from a given protein differs from the sequence on the RSCB Protein Data Bank

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I wanted to compare the amino acid sequence of enzymes for this project I'm working on and need to compare them at their catalytic site. For that, I went to the Catalitic Site Atlas to get the information on the catalytic site, but since they don't offer an easy way for me to download the structure data programmatically I downloaded it from the RSCB PDB by downloading the fasta sequence. When checking for the catalytic sites it wasn't matching what the CSA was telling me and that's when I realized that they are different files. Take for example the 3nos, the CSA presents the following sequence:


While the PDB presents the following sequence:


Why aren't they the same sequence if it's the same protein?

Sorry if it's a noob question, I'm not a biologist, just a computer scientist who happens to like bioinformatics.

Important info:

The CSA data comes from here while the PDB data comes from here

Crystallography results (pdb files) almost always contain a truncated sequence.

Both ends of a protein are often flexible (even in a crystal) and don't result in enough data for a good fit. The corresponding residues are removed from the model and the sequence, and you're left with only the residues that show a defined electron density.

One sequence is partly contained in the other (highlighted).

So the CSA sequence is (FASTA format, truncated):

>sp|P29474|NOS3_HUMAN Nitric oxide synthase, endothelial OS=Homo sapiens GN=NOS3 PE=1 SV=3

taken from for convenience.

While the PDB one is :


The Uniprot entry mentions 3 different isoforms due to alternative splicing, so perhaps that is what is going on here. Here is the output from a sequence alignment (using

#======================================= # # Aligned_sequences: 2 # 1: NOS3_HUMAN # 2: SEQUENCE # Matrix: EBLOSUM62 # Gap_penalty: 14 # Extend_penalty: 4 # # Length: 240 # Identity: 240/240 (100.0%) # Similarity: 240/240 (100.0%) # Gaps: 0/240 ( 0.0%) # Score: 1294 # # #======================================= NOS3_HUMAN 66 PKFPRVKNWEVGSITYDTLSAQAQQDGPCTPRRCLGSLVFPRKLQGRPSP 115 |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| SEQUENCE 1 PKFPRVKNWEVGSITYDTLSAQAQQDGPCTPRRCLGSLVFPRKLQGRPSP 50 NOS3_HUMAN 116 GPPAPEQLLSQARDFINQYYSSIKRSGSQAHEQRLQEVEAEVAATGTYQL 165 |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| SEQUENCE 51 GPPAPEQLLSQARDFINQYYSSIKRSGSQAHEQRLQEVEAEVAATGTYQL 100 NOS3_HUMAN 166 RESELVFGAKQAWRNAPRCVGRIQWGKLQVFDARDCRSAQEMFTYICNHI 215 |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| SEQUENCE 101 RESELVFGAKQAWRNAPRCVGRIQWGKLQVFDARDCRSAQEMFTYICNHI 150 NOS3_HUMAN 216 KYATNRGNLRSAITVFPQRCPGRGDFRIWNSQLVRYAGYRQQDGSVRGDP 265 |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| SEQUENCE 151 KYATNRGNLRSAITVFPQRCPGRGDFRIWNSQLVRYAGYRQQDGSVRGDP 200 NOS3_HUMAN 266 ANVEITELCIQHGWTPGNGRFDVLPLLLQAPDEPPELFLL 305 |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| SEQUENCE 201 ANVEITELCIQHGWTPGNGRFDVLPLLLQAPDEPPELFLL 240

This answer is correct, I just wanted to add that the correct sequence numbering is preserved in the PDB file in the DBREF record (which you can see by opening the PDB in a text editor):

DBREF 3NOS A 66 492 UNP P29474 NOS3_HUMAN 66 492

In plain English, the sequence presented in this file (3NOSchainA) corresponds to residues66-492of the associated UniProt (UNP) entry (accession:P29474).

Watch the video: How to download protein structure tutorial. Bioinformatics. RCSB PDB (September 2022).


  1. Kirwyn

    Surely. I join all of the above.

  2. Al-Fadee

    I can't take part in the discussion right now - I'm very busy. But soon I will definitely write what I think.

  3. Yoshura

    I think this - the wrong way.

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