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New understanding of how big molecules bind will lead to better drugs, synthetic organic materials
Date:2/21/2008

y a viable mechanism for joining larger molecules together.

As well as being important for temporary binding, non-covalent bonding forces are also essential for maintaining the structure of large proteins, and for the DNA double helix, on a longer term basis, by holding the components together. This is a very complex subject given the huge number of combinations of components involved, and so a significant advance reported at the ESF Biosupramolecular conference by Andrei Lupas from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Germany was of a dictionary representing proteins by motifs, that is smaller coherent arrangements of its constituent amino acids, derived from studying their evolutionary history. Lupas showed how such a dictionary could be used to derive evolutionary relationships between proteins. This could have great application in evolutionary biology and also for determining the role of proteins whose function is as yet largely unknown, as well as understanding diseases where protein interactions go wrong.

Having identified many promising avenues of research, the ESF workshop is likely to be followed up by further meetings, according to Davis.We hope to organise another meeting in 2009, and maybe keep going to create a regular series of symposia.


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Contact: Anthony Davis
Anthony.Davis@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-954-6334
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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