VOLPES: an interactive web-based tool for visualizing and comparing physicochemical properties of biological sequences

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Abstract

The structure, dynamics and, ultimately, biological function of proteins and nucleic acids are determined by the physicochemical properties of their primary sequences. Such properties are frequently captured via one-dimensional profile plots depicting a given physicochemical variable as a function of sequence position. Hydrophobicity, charge or structural disorder in proteins or nucleobase-density in nucleic acids are routinely visualized in this manner to analyze sequences at a glance. Such visualizations, however, are typically created case-by-case in a purely static manner, employ fixed visualization parameters only and do not enable a quantitative comparison between different sequences. Here, we present VOLPES (volpes.univie.ac.at), a user-friendly web server and the corresponding JavaScript library that enable a fully interactive, multifunctional visualization, analysis and comparison of the physicochemical properties of protein and nucleic-acid sequences, allowing unprecedented insight into biological sequence data and creating a starting point for further in-depth exploration.

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Bartonek, L., & Zagrovic, B. (2019). VOLPES: an interactive web-based tool for visualizing and comparing physicochemical properties of biological sequences. Nucleic Acids Research, 47(W1), W632–W635. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz407

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