Focusing in on structural genomics: The University of Queensland structural biology pipeline
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The flood of new genomic sequence information together with technological innovations in protein structure determination have led to worldwide structural genomics (SG) initiatives. The goals of SG initiatives are to accelerate the process of protein structure determination, to fill in protein fold space and to provide information about the function of uncharacterized proteins. In the long-term, these outcomes are likely to impact on medical biotechnology and drug discovery, leading to a better understanding of disease as well as the development of new therapeutics. Here we describe the high throughput pipeline established at the University of Queensland in Australia. In this focused pipeline, the targets for structure determination are proteins that are expressed in mouse macrophage cells and that are inferred to have a role in innate immunity. The aim is to characterize the molecular structure and the biochemical and cellular function of these targets by using a parallel processing pipeline. The pipeline is designed to work with tens to hundreds of target gene products and comprises target selection, cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and structure determination. The structures from this pipeline will provide insights into the function of previously uncharacterized macrophage proteins and could lead to the validation of new drug targets for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and arthritis.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified