Retiring and replacing the BLink protein similarity service

NCBI is discontinuing the BLink protein similarity service effective immediately. BLink provided graphical access to related proteins from protein records in the Entrez system. Because of the increasing volume of data in the protein database, BLink has become less useful as a tool for finding related sequences and is no longer maintainable.

Temporary replacement for BLink

The BLink service will redirect to a live protein-protein BLAST search against the Landmark database used by SmartBLAST. The Landmark database, described in the SmartBLAST documentation , provides matches from 27 selected cellular organisms with well-annotated complete genomes representing a broad taxonomic range. The results from the redirected BLink search will be shown as a Tax BLAST report  as shown in the figure below. The Tax BLAST report emphasizes the taxonomic source of the protein matches as did the BLink output.  From this new starting point, you can explore additional protein similarities through the BLAST service by re-submitting the search against other blast databases including the non-redundant (nr) database.

A Tax BLAST report

Figure 1. The Tax BLAST report for proton ATPase A. (click to enlarge)

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