After four years of conducting intensive calculations in the supercomputer MareNostrum at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, scientists headed by Modesto Orozco at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have presented the world’s largest data base on protein motions.
Called MoDEL, this new database holds more than 1,700 proteins and is partially accessible through Internet to researchers worldwide. MoDEL has been developed to study the basic biology of proteins and to accelerate and facilitate the design of new pharmaceutical agents.
“Nowadays we design drugs as if the proteins against which they are to act were static and this goes a long way to explain failures in the development of new drug therapies because this is not a true scenario. With MoDEL this problem is solved because it offers the user from 10,000 to 100,000 photos per protein, and these confer movement to these structures and allow a more accurate design”, says Orozco, head of the “Molecular modelling and bioinformatics” group at IRB Barcelona, director of the Life Sciences Programme of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and full professor at the University of Barcelona. According to this researcher, several pharmaceutical companies are already using the MoDEL strategy to develop the first drugs against cancer and inflammatory diseases, which could become available this year.
But for Modesto Orozco the most relevant point is that MoDEL is now covering more than 30% of human proteins structures that are of pharmacological interest, that is to say, those that are potential targets of a new drug. “We obtained this datum through a very strict test so we consider that we are in fact covering more. However, MoDEL will continue to grow and this can be achieved more quickly because the system is well established”. According to the researchers, the main objective is to focus on relevant proteins in human diseases and in a period of between 2 and 3 years cover 80% of pharmaceutical targets.
In order to undertake the MoDEL project, Orozco and his group are supported by resources provided by IRB Barcelona, the Barcelona SuperComputing Center, the Marcelino Botín Foundation, the Fundación Genoma España, the National Bioinformatics Institute and several European projects.
Structure (Nov. 10 print issue, 2010).
Sarah Sherwood | EurekAlert!
The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine