Database Commons
Database Commons

a catalog of worldwide biological databases

Database Profile

General information

Full name: Known and Predicted Protein-Protein Interactions
Description: STRING is a database of known and predicted protein interactions. The interactions include direct (physical) and indirect (functional) associations
Year founded: 2000
Last update:
Version: v11.5
Real time : Checking...
Country/Region: Switzerland

Classification & Tag

Data type:
Data object:
Database category:
Major species:

Contact information

University/Institution: Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
Address: Quartier Sorge - Batiment Amphipole 1015 Lausanne / Switzerland
Country/Region: Switzerland
Contact name (PI/Team): Peer Bork
Contact email (PI/Helpdesk):


The STRING database in 2023: protein-protein association networks and functional enrichment analyses for any sequenced genome of interest. [PMID: 36370105]
Damian Szklarczyk, Rebecca Kirsch, Mikaela Koutrouli, Katerina Nastou, Farrokh Mehryary, Radja Hachilif, Annika L Gable, Tao Fang, Nadezhda T Doncheva, Sampo Pyysalo, Peer Bork, Lars J Jensen, Christian von Mering

Much of the complexity within cells arises from functional and regulatory interactions among proteins. The core of these interactions is increasingly known, but novel interactions continue to be discovered, and the information remains scattered across different database resources, experimental modalities and levels of mechanistic detail. The STRING database ( systematically collects and integrates protein-protein interactions-both physical interactions as well as functional associations. The data originate from a number of sources: automated text mining of the scientific literature, computational interaction predictions from co-expression, conserved genomic context, databases of interaction experiments and known complexes/pathways from curated sources. All of these interactions are critically assessed, scored, and subsequently automatically transferred to less well-studied organisms using hierarchical orthology information. The data can be accessed via the website, but also programmatically and via bulk downloads. The most recent developments in STRING (version 12.0) are: (i) it is now possible to create, browse and analyze a full interaction network for any novel genome of interest, by submitting its complement of encoded proteins, (ii) the co-expression channel now uses variational auto-encoders to predict interactions, and it covers two new sources, single-cell RNA-seq and experimental proteomics data and (iii) the confidence in each experimentally derived interaction is now estimated based on the detection method used, and communicated to the user in the web-interface. Furthermore, STRING continues to enhance its facilities for functional enrichment analysis, which are now fully available also for user-submitted genomes.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2023:51(D1) | 68 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
The STRING database in 2021: customizable protein-protein networks, and functional characterization of user-uploaded gene/measurement sets. [PMID: 33237311]
Szklarczyk D, Gable AL, Nastou KC, Lyon D, Kirsch R, Pyysalo S, Doncheva NT, Legeay M, Fang T, Bork P, Jensen LJ, von Mering C.

Cellular life depends on a complex web of functional associations between biomolecules. Among these associations, protein-protein interactions are particularly important due to their versatility, specificity and adaptability. The STRING database aims to integrate all known and predicted associations between proteins, including both physical interactions as well as functional associations. To achieve this, STRING collects and scores evidence from a number of sources: (i) automated text mining of the scientific literature, (ii) databases of interaction experiments and annotated complexes/pathways, (iii) computational interaction predictions from co-expression and from conserved genomic context and (iv) systematic transfers of interaction evidence from one organism to another. STRING aims for wide coverage; the upcoming version 11.5 of the resource will contain more than 14 000 organisms. In this update paper, we describe changes to the text-mining system, a new scoring-mode for physical interactions, as well as extensive user interface features for customizing, extending and sharing protein networks. In addition, we describe how to query STRING with genome-wide, experimental data, including the automated detection of enriched functionalities and potential biases in the user's query data. The STRING resource is available online, at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2021:49(D1) | 1958 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
STRING v11: protein-protein association networks with increased coverage, supporting functional discovery in genome-wide experimental datasets. [PMID: 30476243]
Szklarczyk D, Gable AL, Lyon D, Junge A, Wyder S, Huerta-Cepas J, Simonovic M, Doncheva NT, Morris JH, Bork P, Jensen LJ, Mering CV.

Proteins and their functional interactions form the backbone of the cellular machinery. Their connectivity network needs to be considered for the full understanding of biological phenomena, but the available information on protein-protein associations is incomplete and exhibits varying levels of annotation granularity and reliability. The STRING database aims to collect, score and integrate all publicly available sources of protein-protein interaction information, and to complement these with computational predictions. Its goal is to achieve a comprehensive and objective global network, including direct (physical) as well as indirect (functional) interactions. The latest version of STRING (11.0) more than doubles the number of organisms it covers, to 5090. The most important new feature is an option to upload entire, genome-wide datasets as input, allowing users to visualize subsets as interaction networks and to perform gene-set enrichment analysis on the entire input. For the enrichment analysis, STRING implements well-known classification systems such as Gene Ontology and KEGG, but also offers additional, new classification systems based on high-throughput text-mining as well as on a hierarchical clustering of the association network itself. The STRING resource is available online at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2019:47(D1) | 6438 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
The STRING database in 2017: quality-controlled protein-protein association networks, made broadly accessible. [PMID: 27924014]
Szklarczyk D, Morris JH, Cook H, Kuhn M, Wyder S, Simonovic M, Santos A, Doncheva NT, Roth A, Bork P, Jensen LJ, von Mering C.

A system-wide understanding of cellular function requires knowledge of all functional interactions between the expressed proteins. The STRING database aims to collect and integrate this information, by consolidating known and predicted protein-protein association data for a large number of organisms. The associations in STRING include direct (physical) interactions, as well as indirect (functional) interactions, as long as both are specific and biologically meaningful. Apart from collecting and reassessing available experimental data on protein-protein interactions, and importing known pathways and protein complexes from curated databases, interaction predictions are derived from the following sources: (i) systematic co-expression analysis, (ii) detection of shared selective signals across genomes, (iii) automated text-mining of the scientific literature and (iv) computational transfer of interaction knowledge between organisms based on gene orthology. In the latest version 10.5 of STRING, the biggest changes are concerned with data dissemination: the web frontend has been completely redesigned to reduce dependency on outdated browser technologies, and the database can now also be queried from inside the popular Cytoscape software framework. Further improvements include automated background analysis of user inputs for functional enrichments, and streamlined download options. The STRING resource is available online, at © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2017:45(D1) | 3339 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
STRING v10: protein-protein interaction networks, integrated over the tree of life. [PMID: 25352553]
Szklarczyk D, Franceschini A, Wyder S, Forslund K, Heller D, Huerta-Cepas J, Simonovic M, Roth A, Santos A, Tsafou KP, Kuhn M, Bork P, Jensen LJ, von Mering C.

The many functional partnerships and interactions that occur between proteins are at the core of cellular processing and their systematic characterization helps to provide context in molecular systems biology. However, known and predicted interactions are scattered over multiple resources, and the available data exhibit notable differences in terms of quality and completeness. The STRING database ( aims to provide a critical assessment and integration of protein-protein interactions, including direct (physical) as well as indirect (functional) associations. The new version 10.0 of STRING covers more than 2000 organisms, which has necessitated novel, scalable algorithms for transferring interaction information between organisms. For this purpose, we have introduced hierarchical and self-consistent orthology annotations for all interacting proteins, grouping the proteins into families at various levels of phylogenetic resolution. Further improvements in version 10.0 include a completely redesigned prediction pipeline for inferring protein-protein associations from co-expression data, an API interface for the R computing environment and improved statistical analysis for enrichment tests in user-provided networks. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2015:43(Database issue) | 5072 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
STRING v9.1: protein-protein interaction networks, with increased coverage and integration. [PMID: 23203871]
Franceschini A, Szklarczyk D, Frankild S, Kuhn M, Simonovic M, Roth A, Lin J, Minguez P, Bork P, von Mering C, Jensen LJ.

Complete knowledge of all direct and indirect interactions between proteins in a given cell would represent an important milestone towards a comprehensive description of cellular mechanisms and functions. Although this goal is still elusive, considerable progress has been made-particularly for certain model organisms and functional systems. Currently, protein interactions and associations are annotated at various levels of detail in online resources, ranging from raw data repositories to highly formalized pathway databases. For many applications, a global view of all the available interaction data is desirable, including lower-quality data and/or computational predictions. The STRING database ( aims to provide such a global perspective for as many organisms as feasible. Known and predicted associations are scored and integrated, resulting in comprehensive protein networks covering >1100 organisms. Here, we describe the update to version 9.1 of STRING, introducing several improvements: (i) we extend the automated mining of scientific texts for interaction information, to now also include full-text articles; (ii) we entirely re-designed the algorithm for transferring interactions from one model organism to the other; and (iii) we provide users with statistical information on any functional enrichment observed in their networks.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2013:41(Database issue) | 2540 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
The STRING database in 2011: functional interaction networks of proteins, globally integrated and scored. [PMID: 21045058]
Szklarczyk D, Franceschini A, Kuhn M, Simonovic M, Roth A, Minguez P, Doerks T, Stark M, Muller J, Bork P, Jensen LJ, von Mering C.

An essential prerequisite for any systems-level understanding of cellular functions is to correctly uncover and annotate all functional interactions among proteins in the cell. Toward this goal, remarkable progress has been made in recent years, both in terms of experimental measurements and computational prediction techniques. However, public efforts to collect and present protein interaction information have struggled to keep up with the pace of interaction discovery, partly because protein-protein interaction information can be error-prone and require considerable effort to annotate. Here, we present an update on the online database resource Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes (STRING); it provides uniquely comprehensive coverage and ease of access to both experimental as well as predicted interaction information. Interactions in STRING are provided with a confidence score, and accessory information such as protein domains and 3D structures is made available, all within a stable and consistent identifier space. New features in STRING include an interactive network viewer that can cluster networks on demand, updated on-screen previews of structural information including homology models, extensive data updates and strongly improved connectivity and integration with third-party resources. Version 9.0 of STRING covers more than 1100 completely sequenced organisms; the resource can be reached at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2011:39(Database issue) | 2027 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
STRING 8--a global view on proteins and their functional interactions in 630 organisms. [PMID: 18940858]
Jensen LJ, Kuhn M, Stark M, Chaffron S, Creevey C, Muller J, Doerks T, Julien P, Roth A, Simonovic M, Bork P, von Mering C.

Functional partnerships between proteins are at the core of complex cellular phenotypes, and the networks formed by interacting proteins provide researchers with crucial scaffolds for modeling, data reduction and annotation. STRING is a database and web resource dedicated to protein-protein interactions, including both physical and functional interactions. It weights and integrates information from numerous sources, including experimental repositories, computational prediction methods and public text collections, thus acting as a meta-database that maps all interaction evidence onto a common set of genomes and proteins. The most important new developments in STRING 8 over previous releases include a URL-based programming interface, which can be used to query STRING from other resources, improved interaction prediction via genomic neighborhood in prokaryotes, and the inclusion of protein structures. Version 8.0 of STRING covers about 2.5 million proteins from 630 organisms, providing the most comprehensive view on protein-protein interactions currently available. STRING can be reached at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2009:37(Database issue) | 1473 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
STRING 7--recent developments in the integration and prediction of protein interactions. [PMID: 17098935]
von Mering C, Jensen LJ, Kuhn M, Chaffron S, Doerks T, Krüger B, Snel B, Bork P.

Information on protein-protein interactions is still mostly limited to a small number of model organisms, and originates from a wide variety of experimental and computational techniques. The database and online resource STRING generalizes access to protein interaction data, by integrating known and predicted interactions from a variety of sources. The underlying infrastructure includes a consistent body of completely sequenced genomes and exhaustive orthology classifications, based on which interaction evidence is transferred between organisms. Although primarily developed for protein interaction analysis, the resource has also been successfully applied to comparative genomics, phylogenetics and network studies, which are all facilitated by programmatic access to the database backend and the availability of compact download files. As of release 7, STRING has almost doubled to 373 distinct organisms, and contains more than 1.5 million proteins for which associations have been pre-computed. Novel features include AJAX-based web-navigation, inclusion of additional resources such as BioGRID, and detailed protein domain annotation. STRING is available at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2007:35(Database issue) | 367 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
STRING: known and predicted protein-protein associations, integrated and transferred across organisms. [PMID: 15608232]
von Mering C, Jensen LJ, Snel B, Hooper SD, Krupp M, Foglierini M, Jouffre N, Huynen MA, Bork P.

A full description of a protein's function requires knowledge of all partner proteins with which it specifically associates. From a functional perspective, 'association' can mean direct physical binding, but can also mean indirect interaction such as participation in the same metabolic pathway or cellular process. Currently, information about protein association is scattered over a wide variety of resources and model organisms. STRING aims to simplify access to this information by providing a comprehensive, yet quality-controlled collection of protein-protein associations for a large number of organisms. The associations are derived from high-throughput experimental data, from the mining of databases and literature, and from predictions based on genomic context analysis. STRING integrates and ranks these associations by benchmarking them against a common reference set, and presents evidence in a consistent and intuitive web interface. Importantly, the associations are extended beyond the organism in which they were originally described, by automatic transfer to orthologous protein pairs in other organisms, where applicable. STRING currently holds 730,000 proteins in 180 fully sequenced organisms, and is available at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2005:33(Database issue) | 788 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
STRING: a database of predicted functional associations between proteins. [PMID: 12519996]
von Mering C, Huynen M, Jaeggi D, Schmidt S, Bork P, Snel B.

Functional links between proteins can often be inferred from genomic associations between the genes that encode them: groups of genes that are required for the same function tend to show similar species coverage, are often located in close proximity on the genome (in prokaryotes), and tend to be involved in gene-fusion events. The database STRING is a precomputed global resource for the exploration and analysis of these associations. Since the three types of evidence differ conceptually, and the number of predicted interactions is very large, it is essential to be able to assess and compare the significance of individual predictions. Thus, STRING contains a unique scoring-framework based on benchmarks of the different types of associations against a common reference set, integrated in a single confidence score per prediction. The graphical representation of the network of inferred, weighted protein interactions provides a high-level view of functional linkage, facilitating the analysis of modularity in biological processes. STRING is updated continuously, and currently contains 261 033 orthologs in 89 fully sequenced genomes. The database predicts functional interactions at an expected level of accuracy of at least 80% for more than half of the genes; it is online at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2003:31(1) | 1082 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)
STRING: a web-server to retrieve and display the repeatedly occurring neighbourhood of a gene. [PMID: 10982861]
Snel B, Lehmann G, Bork P, Huynen MA.

The repeated occurrence of genes in each other's neighbourhood on genomes has been shown to indicate a functional association between the proteins they encode. Here we introduce STRING (search tool for recurring instances of neighbouring genes), a tool to retrieve and display the genes a query gene repeatedly occurs with in clusters on the genome. The tool performs iterative searches and visualises the results in their genomic context. By finding the genomically associated genes for a query, it delineates a set of potentially functionally associated genes. The usefulness of STRING is illustrated with an example that suggests a functional context for an RNA methylase with unknown specificity.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2000:28(18) | 584 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2023-09-30)


All databases:
4/5579 (99.946%)
1/866 (100%)
Total Rank

Community reviews

Not Rated
Data quality & quantity:
Content organization & presentation
System accessibility & reliability:

Word cloud

Related Databases

Cited by

Record metadata

Created on: 2015-06-20
Curated by:
Yue Qi [2023-08-23]
Lin Liu [2022-08-13]
Dong Zou [2021-10-19]
Lin Liu [2021-03-28]
Lina Ma [2019-08-01]
Dong Zou [2019-01-04]
huma shireen [2018-08-30]
Lina Ma [2018-06-07]
Lina Ma [2018-01-17]
Shixiang Sun [2017-02-15]
Lina Ma [2016-08-16]
Lin Xia [2016-03-28]
Lin Xia [2015-11-20]
Lin Xia [2015-06-26]