Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein: Getting to the Meat of this essential Element

31.07.2003


Living organisms operate with a variety of tens of thousands of protein structures and, though much research has been done on individual protein systems, little is understood about how different protein systems interact. Now an effort at Texas A&M University is bringing together all known information in an extensive, searchable internet site called Binding Interface Database.



"No one understands the rules of protein interaction," said Dr. Jerry Tsai, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station bioinformatics researcher. "So we are bringing all that is known together in one place."

After one year, the Binding Interface Database, has 245 interacting protein pairs with more than 1,500 "hot spots," or key interaction areas, documented.


"It’s like moving a sitting elephant," Tsai said. "It’s enormous. We spent about nine months just planning how it would be done." Tsai’s research is what scientists have dubbed "bioinformatics." That is, information technology applied to biology – software programs that process information derived from biological systems such as DNA sequence, cell images and protein crystal structures. "A researcher can come to the site, look at a protein or related protein and get a clue to what proteins relate," said Tiffany Fischer of Dallas, a doctoral biochemistry student who is managing the project with Tsai.

Tsai said others have attempted to create a protein binding database before but never in easy-to-maneuver format with searchable data. That’s where Fischer, whose bachelor’s degree is in genetics, lends expertise. She oversees a team of students who glean research papers for the useful and accurate information to enter into the database.

Fischer said the team is targeting the most biologically significant, widely researched proteins and systems initially. "The MAPK system, for example, is important because it is a proposed cancer-causing pathway associated with cell death and cell proliferation," she said. "That has been widely documented, so by putting what is known in the database, a researcher can come to one place to find out all that is known about the interactions of this system."

Still, less than 500 structures of proteins that interact are known, she added, though there are about 20,000 in protein structure database. One can search the system by protein or by system to get complete descriptions of proteins and their interactions. Also included is reference information that points to the source of the information.

Adding to what’s already in the database, Tsai said, the project now will focus on inputting information on adaptor/adapter/adaptin proteins, and apoptosis (programmed cell death such as when the tissue between fingers of a fetus goes away) and tumor suppressors.

Contact: Dr. Jerry Tsai, +1-979-458-3377, jerrytsai@tamu.edu

Kathleen Phillips | Texas A&M University
Further information:
http://tsailab.tamu.edu/BID
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>