Understanding the functions of the vast number of proteins encoded in many genomes that have been completely sequenced recently is the main challenge for biologists in the post-genomics era. Since the function of a protein is determined by its exact three-dimensional structure it is paramount to determine the 3D structures of all proteins. This need has driven structural biologists to undertake the structural genomics project aimed at determining the structures of all known proteins. Several centers for structural genomics studies have been established throughout the world. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has played a major role in determining protein structures in atomic details and in a physiologically relevant solution state. Since the number of new genes being discovered daily far exceeds the number of structures determined by both NMR and X-ray crystallography, a high-throughput method for speeding up the process of protein structure determination is essential for the success of the structural genomics effort. In this article we will describe NMR methods currently being employed for protein structure determination. We will also describe methods under development which may drastically increase the throughput, as well as point out areas where opportunities exist for biophysicists to make significant contribution in this important field.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications|
|Publication status||Published - 2005 May 1|
- Structural genomics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics