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Scripps Research scientists win $65 million in new grants to reveal form and function of proteins
Date:9/30/2010

ealth," said Wilson. "In addition, they are associated with obesity, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and certain cancers, to name but a few disorders."

The center will focus on solving these structures by continuing to hone their highly efficient methods and by conducting collaborative research, including with scientists outside the PSI network.

Biological Problems

The JCSG and other large-scale centers will partner with eight groups of biologists, including one based at Scripps Research, that require the determination of many protein and protein-RNA structures to understand biological processes or a molecule's function.

The Scripps Research center, led by Williamson and Salomon, will focus on better understanding the workings of part of our immune system, which protects us against disease by fending off pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and tumor cells. The immune system is also a critical determinant of the success or failure of kidney, heart, liver, and bone marrow cell transplants. In particular, the scientists aim to better understand the role of ribonucleoproteins (complexes of RNA and protein involved in a wide range of cellular processes, including protein synthesis) in regulating the activation of T-cells, a type of white blood cell.

"This work should provide significant new insights into the structure of ribonucleoprotein complexes in general," said Williamson. "In addition, we hope to gain new insights into how these complexes are involved in posttranscriptional gene regulation."

"Understanding how T cells draw from all the information embedded in the human genome to determine how to respond to an immune challenge like a virus, tumor cell, or transplant is an opportunity to study the mechanisms of health and disease," added Salomon, "and to do this at the level of protein structures in this new collaboration with the JCSG is a remarkable opportunity to advance translation biology and medici
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Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
858-784-2052
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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