Véronique Giudicelli, Denys Chaume, and Marie-Paule Lefranc
IMGT, the international ImMunoGeneTics database (http://imgt.cnusc.fr:8104), created by Marie-Paule Lefranc, Montpellier, France, is an integrated database specializing in antigen receptors and MHC of all vertebrate species. IMGT includes LIGM-DB, developed for Immunoglobulins and T-cell-receptors. LIGM-DB distributes high quality data with an important increment value added by the LIGM expert annotations. LIGM-DB accurate immunogenetics data is based on the standardization of biological knowledge related to keywords, annotation labels and gene identification. The management of such data resulting from biological research requires an high flexible implementation t o quickly reflect up-to-date results, and to integrate new knowledge. We developed a systematized approach and defined LIGM-DB systems which manage and realize the major tasks for the database survey. In this paper, we will focus on the coherence system, which became absolutely crucial to maintain data quality as the database i s growing up and as the biological knowledge continues to improve, and on the distribution system which makes LIGM-DB data easy to access, download and reuse. Efforts have been done to improve the data distribution procedures and adapt them to the current bioinformatics needs. Recently, we have developed an API which allows Java programmers to remotely access and integrate LIGM-DB data in other computer environments.