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  • 1
    Keywords: MODEL ; PROTEIN ; FAMILY ; PROTEIN FAMILIES ; PROTEIN FAMILY ; DOMAIN ; PAIRS ; recombination
    Abstract: There is a limited repertoire of domain families in nature that are duplicated and combined in different ways to form the set of proteins in a genome. Most proteins in both prokaryote and eukaryote genomes consist of two or more domains, and we show that the family size distribution of multi-domain protein families follows a power law like that of individual families. Most domain pairs occur in four to six different domain architectures: in isolation and in combinations with different partners. We showed previously that within the set of all pairwise domain combinations, most small and medium-sized families are observed in combination with one or two other families, while a few large families are very versatile and combine with many different partners. Though this may appear to be a stochastic pattern, in which large families have more combination partners by virtue of their size, we establish here that all the domain families with more than three members in genomes are duplicated more frequently than would be expected by chance considering their number of neighbouring domains. This duplication of domain pairs is statistically significant for between one and three quarters of all families with seven or more members. For the majority of pairwise domain combinations, there is no known three-dimensional structure of the two domains together, and we term these novel combinations. Novel domain combinations are interesting and important targets for structural elucidation, as the geometry and interaction between the domains will help understand the function and evolution of multi-domain proteins. Of particular interest are those combinations that occur in the largest number of multi-domain proteins, and several of these frequent novel combinations contain DNA-binding domains.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 14649290
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  • 2
    Keywords: NETWORK ; CDNA ; FUNCTIONAL GENOMICS ; PROTEOMICS ; CDNAS
    Abstract: Among the greatest challenges facing biology today is the exploitation of huge amounts of genomic data, and their conversion into functional information about the proteins encoded. For example, the large-scale cDNA sequencing project of the German cDNA Consortium is providing vast numbers of open reading frames (ORFs) encoding novel proteins of completely unknown function. As a first step towards their characterization we have tagged over 500 of these with the green fluorescent protein (GFP), and examined the subcellular localizations of these fusion proteins in living cells. These data have allowed us to classify the proteins into subcellular groups which determines the next step towards a detailed functional characterization. To make further use of these GFP-tagged constructs, a series of functional assays have been designed and implemented to assess the effect of these novel proteins on processes such as cell growth, cell death, and protein transport. Functional assays with such a large set of molecules is only possible by automation. Therefore, we have developed, and adapted, functional assays for use by robotic liquid handling stations and reading stations. A transport assay allows to identify proteins which localize to distinct organelles of the secretory pathway and have the potential to be new regulators in protein transport, a proliferation assay helps identifying proteins that stimulate or repress mitosis. Further assays to monitor the effects of the proteins in apoptosis and signal transduction pathways are in progress. Integrating the functional information that is generated in the assays with data from expression profiling and further functional genomics and proteomics approaches, will ultimately allow us to identify functional networks of proteins in a morphological context, and will greatly contribute to our understanding of cell function.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 14649292
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1570-0267
    Keywords: calcium signaling ; EF-hand protein ; molecular recognition ; protein-protein interaction
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The intracellular calcium sensor protein calmodulin (CaM) interacts with a large number of proteins to regulate their biological functions in response to calcium stimulus. This molecular recognition process is diverse in its mechanism, but can be grouped into several classes based on structural and sequence information. We have developed a web-based database (http://calcium.uhnres.utoronto.ca/ctdb) for this family of proteins containing CaM binding sites or, as we propose to call it herein, CaM recruitment signaling (CRS) motifs. At present the CRS motif found in approximately 180 protein sequences in the databases can be divided into four subclasses, each subclass representing a distinct structural mode of molecular recognition involving CaM. The database can predict a putative CRS location within a given protein sequence, identify the subclass to which it may belong, and structural and biophysical parameters such as hydrophobicity, hydrophobic moment, and propensity for a -helix formation.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1570-0267
    Keywords: cDNA ; PCR cDNA ; TaqMan Analysis ; gene expression ; Pearson's correlation
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Comparative gene expression studies are often limited by low availability of tissue and poor quality of extractable mRNA. Collective PCR amplification of minute quantities of mRNA has great potential for overcoming these limitations. However, there remains significant concern about the effects of amplification on the absolute and relative abundance of individual mRNAs that could complicate subsequent gene expression studies. To address this problem, we systematically compared the relative abundance of many specific mRNAs from complex cDNA preparations (from tissue and cultured cells) both before and after amplification by PCR. Our results demonstrated that, as expected, the absolute abundance of different mRNAs in a cDNA library is altered in an unpredictable manner by PCR amplification. However, we found that the concentration ratios of specific mRNAs among different cDNA preparations were routinely well conserved after PCR amplification. Thus, for the purpose of comparative expression studies for specific mRNAs in two (or more) complex cDNAs, PCR-amplified cDNA is equally useful as unamplified cDNA. These results provide a rigorous experimental validation and offer a theoretical treatment to support the utility of PCR amplified cDNA for differential gene expression studies. We conclude that the inherent difficulties in performing differential screening studies such as gene chip and array analyses on limited amounts of biological materials can be overcome by a PCR amplification step without compromising data quality.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1570-0267
    Keywords: structural genomics ; RNase H ; NMR ; methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The solution structure of MTH1175, a 124-residue protein from the archaeon Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum has been determined by NMR spectroscopy. MTH1175 is part of a family of conserved hypothetical proteins (COG1433) with unknown functions which contains multiple paralogs from all complete archaeal genomes and the archaeal gene-rich bacterium Thermotoga maritima. Sequence similarity indicates this protein family may be related to the nitrogen fixation proteins NifB and NifX. MTH1175 adopts an α/β topology with a single mixed β-sheet, and contains two flexible loops and an unstructured C-terminal tail. The fold resembles that of Ribonuclease H and similar proteins, but differs from these in several respects, and is not likely to have a nuclease activity.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1570-0267
    Keywords: wild-type cystatin A ; P25S cystatin A ; NMR structure ; α-helix deformation
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The effect of substituting Pro25, located in the α-helical region of the cystatin A structure, with Ser has been studied. The structures of wild type and P25S cystatin A were determined by multidimensional NMR spectroscopy under comparable conditions. These two structures were virtually identical, and the α-helix between Glu15-Lys30 exists with uninterrupted continuity, with a slight bend at residue 25. In order to characterize the possible substitution effects of Pro25 with Ser on the α-helix, the chemical shifts of the amide nitrogens and protons, the generalized order parameters obtained by the analyses of the 15N-1H relaxation data, the amide proton exchange rates, and the NOE networks among the α-helical and surrounding residues were carefully compared. None of these parameters indicated any significant static or dynamic structural differences between the α-helical regions of the wild-type and P25S cystatin A proteins. We therefore conclude that our previous structure of the wild-type cystatin A, in which the α-helix exhibited a sharp kink at Pro25, must be revised. The asymmetric distribution of hydrophobic interactions between the side-chain residues of the α-helix and the rolled β-sheet surface, as revealed by NOEs, may be responsible for the slight bend of the α-helix in both variants and for the destabilized hydrogen bonding of the α-helical residues that follow Pro25/Ser25, as evidenced by increased amide exchange rates.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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