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I have an Ensembl ID, what can I tell about it from the ID?

An Ensembl stable ID consists of five parts: ENS(species)(object type)(identifier).(version).

  • The first part, 'ENS', tells you that it's an Ensembl ID
  • The second part is a three-letter species code. For human, there is no species code so IDs are in the form ENS(object type)(identifier).(version). A list of the other species codes can be found here.
  • The third part is a one- or two-letter object type. For example E for exon, FM for protein family, G for gene, GT for gene tree, P for protein, R for regulatory feature and T for transcript.
  • The identifier is the number to that object. Combinations of prefixes and identifiers are unique.
  • Versions indicate how many times that model has changed during its time in Ensembl. This document explains how we determine that a model has changed sufficiently to update version number. History pages for features show you when these changes took place.

Using this information we can make assertions about an Ensembl ID. For example ENSMUSG00000017167.6. From this we can see that it's an Ensembl ID (ENS), from mouse (MUS), it's a gene (G) and it's on its sixth version (.6).

If you have any other questions about Ensembl, please do not hesitate to contact our HelpDesk. You may also like to subscribe to the developers' mailing list.