The relationship that exists between structure and function is a unifying theme in my varied biomembrane-based research activities. It applies equally well to the lipid as to the protein component of membranes. With a view to exploiting information that has been and that is currently being generated in my laboratory, as well as that which exists in the literature, a number of web-accessible, relational databases have been established over the years. These include databases dealing with lipids, detergents and membrane proteins. Those catering to lipids include i) LIPIDAT, a database of thermodynamic information on lipid phases and phase transitions, ii) LIPIDAG, a database of phase diagrams concerning lipid miscibility, and iii) LMSD, a lipid molecular structures database. CMCD is the detergent-based database. It houses critical micelle concentration information on a wide assortment of surfactants under different conditions. The membrane protein data bank (MPDB) was established to provide convenient access to the 3-D structure and related properties of membrane proteins and peptides. The utility and current status of these assorted databases will be described and recommendations will be made for extending their range and usefulness.

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