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[go-friends] Future Changes to UniProt Accession Format & Regular Expression

Steven Rosanoff srosanof at
Fri Nov 8 04:18:45 PST 2013

*Future Changes to UniProt Accession Formats and Regular Expression*

     In the coming months UniProt will be faced with the dilemma of 
exhausting its current pool of 77.5 million accessions. To avoid any 
stoppage of services, we have been diligently formulating and testing 
new regular expressions which allow us to retain the current accession 
formats while extending the accession space to accommodate future 

     After weeks of discussions and careful considerations, UniProt has 
decided to extend the length of future accession identifiers to 10 
characters, while preserving currently existing accession identifiers in 
their current 6 character format. As a result the new regular expression 
is as follows:

*[O,P,Q][0-9][A-Z, 0-9]{3}[0-9] | [A-N,R-Z]{[0-9][A-Z][A-Z, 

The new regular expression handles the complete set of old accession 
formats, including the special cases for legacy O, P, Q accessions. 
Below are examples of valid accession formats under the new regular 
expression, including both current and future accessions:

*Current Format*

      * A1B123
      * Q12345

    *Future Format*

      * A1B234A567
      * A1B234BCD5
      * A1BCD2EFG3

     We do not expect entries to be created with the new accession 
format until the second quarter of 2014. If you have any questions or 
concerns, please feel free to contact a member of the UniProt 
development team at

UniProt Team

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