Navigation Links
Molecular coordination in evolution: A review in 'Nature Reviews Genetics'

Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) researchers Alfonso Valencia, Director of the Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme and David de Juan, jointly with Florencio Pazos, from the Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC), publish a review on the latest computational methods that, based on evolutionary principles, are revolutionising the field of analysis and prediction of protein structure, function and protein-protein interactions, as well as the short- and long-term expectations for the field.

"The computational and mathematical analysis tools that study how proteins evolve in a coordinated fashion a process known as molecular coevolution have undergone important changes over the past few years", explains Valencia.

This revolution in the study of microscale evolution is allowing researchers to predict interactions between proteins and to understand the structural changes that take place in these molecules. It also represents the basis for understanding how mutations caused by diseases such as cancer or neurodegenerative disease affect their underlying molecular framework.

Proteins just like the different species at the macroscopic level, via competitive or symbiotic interactions do not act in an isolated manner but rather coordinate amongst themselves in order to carry out their functional roles. These biological relationships explain why there is a tendency in evolution to introduce coordinated changes in proteins, which allow for the preservation and modulation of these relationships.

"The development of new, more powerful and more reliable mathematical methods than those available in the 1990s is allowing us to explore these biological problems at the molecular level, and provide a deeper vision of the Darwinian process," says Valencia. "These methods based on coevolution are like a telescope, helping us to observe and understand biological and molecular processes."


In the revision, the authors describe those mathematical methods that, based on the evolution of pairs of proteins, are capable of predicting molecular interactions at different levels of complexity.

These methods include those approaches from the 1990s that predicted contact points between proteins; those that allow us to understand binding selectivity between very similar proteins -or ones that belong to the same family- and their ligands; or even, at a deeper level of complexity, those that predict interaction networks between the thousands of proteins that make up cells.

Over the last 20 years, Valencia's team has led several lines of research related to this field, many of which are still being studied by many other groups and in which his team continues to be a world leader.

"In 2012, we published a new set of predictions on the specificity of the binding of the Ras oncogene to other proteins. The tool was based on coevolution methods that we had developed a couple of years ago, and that are now being widely explored by other groups," explains Valencia. The Ras protein family is associated with a wide spectrum of cancers, so learning the language it uses with other proteins that are important for cells might open avenues for the development of novel drugs.

The authors of the study foresee a promising future for this field, in which bioinformatics programmers, physicists, biologists and mathematicians join forces in order to describe the complexity of protein dynamics.

"In the long term, we hope that unifying these methods will help us to manipulate or create new drugs that selectively target abnormal cells and therefore reduce side effects," says de Juan.

Contact: Nuria Noriega
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)

Related medicine news :

1. Obesity, physical inactivity linked with risk for certain molecular subtype of colorectal cancer
2. UNC-led study documents head and neck cancer molecular tumor subtypes
3. Molecular master switch for pancreatic cancer identified, potential predictor of treatment outcome
4. New details on the molecular machinery of cancer
5. U of M researchers develop a molecular calcium sponge to tackle heart failure
6. Researchers use new molecular inhibitors to successfully hit difficult cancer target
7. PLEXERA® LLC Launches Contract Research Services Business for Biomolecular Interaction Studies
8. Research suggests molecular switch may play role in tumor suppression
9. Trying to halt hepatitis Cs molecular hijacking
10. Springer launches new journal with the Italian Association of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
11. Metabolic biomarkers for preventive molecular medicine
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios is back again with ProPanel: Pulse ... are endless. Users have full control over angle of view, speed method, start point, ... sure to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse offers fully customizable pulsating shape ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... way that they are handling security in light of the recent terrorist attacks in ... an attempt to stop an attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special events ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases simply from ... that individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed the patent-pending ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that over 50% of its members are under ... under the age of 50 – or 67% of the population - are infected with ... infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" said Michelle Li, Co-Founder of the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... you start failing. Secura Consultants has prided itself for not only fulfilling the ... best income protection solutions at an affordable price and providing top-tier customer service. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , 26 november 2015 AAIPharma ... de geplande investering aan van ten minste ... laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en extra ... de groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische en ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... FRANCISCO , November 26, 2015 ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ... Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is expected ... and cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... ser potential att använda SyMRI för att ... för patienter med multipel skleros (MS) eller ... SyntheticMR AB för att kunna använda SyMRI ... Med SyMRI kan man generera flera konstrastbilder ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: