Special Issue "Protein Crystallography in Molecular Biology"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2012)
Our understanding of how biological molecules interact is often presented as a number of snapshots of static images derived from bio-molecular crystallography (and today increasingly derived also from NMR spectroscopy). We “see” our molecular biology in these images as processes of recognition, biochemical transformation, physical movement and communication. Being an imaging technique it provides unbiased insights into the complex features of proteins, DNA, RNA, and their relationship to substrates, inhibitors and binding partners. Crystal structures of proteins often surprise as they produce images of molecules as they really are! Many novel gene products are not structured how we initially perceive them to be but experimentally determined structures enable us to accurately delineate the genetic information into three dimensions. By identifying particular structural features of biological molecules with specific functions biologists can be led to focus on mechanistic relationships and then to create working models that can usefully drive studies of complex systems in biology. This type of approach using the identification of key elements of structure to start this discovery process has had application in all of biology, from genetics to cell biology and then beyond into our understanding of evolution.
This special issue on protein crystallography for the International Journal of Molecular Sciences will focus on examples in molecular biology where structural data derived from protein crystallography has “turned heads” and then provided the means to generate unique insights into molecular processes in biology.
Prof. Dr. Charles A. Collyer
- Sub-domain structure
- structural motifs
- protein families
- protein/nucleic acid recognition
- structural model
- conformational signalling
- enzyme mechanism