Scott Lesley, director of Protein Sciences at GNF, adds that many of the tools developed in the Protein Structure Initiative have found their way into mainstream structural biology as well. "Everything from certain molecular biology techniques, to parallel expression approaches, to protein characterization methods, to target optimization, to microcrystallization techniques were developed or optimized within the past decade of the PSI," he said. "The JCSG has now entered a very exciting phase where we are able to apply our pipeline to challenging biological systems and to be able to work closely with partners in biology."
Wilson says the special issue of the structural biology journal represents only a snapshot of some of the plethora of successful projects from the center's inception to the present, and isn't meant to be comprehensive.
"It's an overview of some of the exciting progress and interesting findings that have happened in the center so far," he noted, turning the discussion to the future of the JCSG. Supported by a recent five-year NIH grant totaling $37.6 million, the consortium will continue to operate its pipeline for high-throughput structure determination. Structures that the group plans to tackle over the next five years include targets from challenging systems, such as T cells and stem cells, and will include eukaryotic proteins, protein-protein, protein-RNA, protein-DNA, and other complexes, in addition to continued effort to extend structural coverage of the "protein universe."
One theme of the center's research will explore the human "microbiome," the collection of microbes that inhabit specific environments, such as the human digestive tract. "Interactions of bacteria with the human body are profound and have a significant impact on maintenance of general
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Scripps Research Institute