RampDB: a web application and database for the exploration and prediction of receptor activity modifying protein interactions


Receptor Activity Modifying Proteins (RAMPs) serve as accessory proteins that modulate the signaling activities of G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). RAMPs function by interacting with the N-termini and transmembrane domains of GPCRs, and the receptor phenotypes of the resulting complexes are determined by the specific isoform of the interacting RAMPs. RAMPs were discovered in 1998, and since that time the number of known RAMP-GPCR interactions has steadily increased; RAMPs are now known to interact with nearly every member of the class ‘B’, Secretin receptor family of peptide-binding GPCRs as well as some members of the class ‘A’ and ‘C’ peptide-binding GPCRs. Given the steadily increasing number of known RAMP–GPCR interactions, phenotypes and functions, there is a pressing need for a central resource dedicated to their storage, prediction and dissemination. We have developed a web application and database—RampDB—with the goal of addressing this need. RampDB consists of a custom RAMP–GPCR–ligand database integrated with a search utility, which together facilitate the exploration and analysis of RAMP interactions. The RampDB search utility allows users to explore known RAMP interactions, or to predict novel interactions, via either protein sequence (bioinformatic) or ligand (chemoinformatic) queries. The underlying architecture of RampDB was designed using best database practices in order to enable rapid retrieval of search results, automated updates and the seamless incorporation of additional features.