Tables for
Volume F
Crystallography of biological macromolecules
Edited by M. G. Rossmann and E. Arnold

International Tables for Crystallography (2006). Vol. F, ch. 24.2, p. 657   | 1 | 2 |

Section 24.2.1. Introduction

H. M. Berman,a* Z. Feng,a B. Schneider,a J. Westbrooka and C. Zardeckia

aThe Nucleic Acid Database Project, Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8077, USA
Correspondence e-mail:

24.2.1. Introduction

| top | pdf |

The Nucleic Acid Database (NDB) (Berman et al., 1992[link]) was established in 1991 as a resource for specialists in the field of nucleic acid structure. Its purpose was to gather all of the structural information about nucleic acids that had been obtained from X-ray crystallographic experiments and to organize them in such a way that it would be easy to retrieve the coordinates, the information about the experimental conditions used to derive these coordinates, and the structural information that could be derived from these coordinates. Since many NDB users are not crystallographers, the information provided by the database has been presented in such a way as to maximize its utility for various types of modelling and structure prediction.

Since the NDB was founded, many new technologies have presented new challenges and opportunities. The emergence of the World Wide Web has allowed for the creative and powerful dissemination and collection of data and information. The development of a standard interchange format for handling crystallographic data, the macromolecular Crystallographic Information File (mmCIF; Bourne et al., 1997[link]), has made it possible to ensure the integrity and consistency of the data in the archive. The NDB has used these resources to provide both a relational database and an archive of information to a global community.


Berman, H. M., Olson, W. K., Beveridge, D. L., Westbrook, J., Gelbin, A., Demeny, T., Hsieh, S. H., Srinivasan, A. R. & Schneider, B. (1992). The Nucleic Acid Database – a comprehensive relational database of three-dimensional structures of nucleic acids. Biophys. J. 63, 751–759.Google Scholar
Bourne, P., Berman, H. M., Watenpaugh, K., Westbrook, J. D. & Fitzgerald, P. M. D. (1997). The macromolecular Crystallographic Information File (mmCIF). Methods Enzymol. 277, 571–590.Google Scholar

to end of page
to top of page