Practical Applications 2 - 24 August 2011 - BioInformatics Pakistan
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Practical Applications 2


Structural Bioinformatic Approaches

12. Prediction Of Protein Structure:
    Protein structure prediction is another important application of bioinformatics. The amino acid sequence of a protein, the so-called primary structure, can be easily determined from the sequence on the gene that codes for it. In the vast majority of cases, this primary structure uniquely determines a structure in its native environment. (Of course, there are exceptions, such as the bovine spongiform encephalopathy – a.k.a. Mad Cow Disease prion.) Knowledge of this structure is vital in understanding the function of the protein. For lack of better terms, structural information is usually classified as one of secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure. A viable general solution to such predictions remains an open problem. As of now, most efforts have been directed towards heuristics that work most of the time.
One of the key ideas in bioinformatics is the notion of homology. In the genomic branch of bioinformatics, homology is used to predict the function of a gene: if the sequence of gene A, whose function is known, is homologous to the sequence of gene B, whose function is unknown, one could infer that B may share A's function. In the structural branch of bioinformatics, homology is used to determine which parts of a protein are important in structure formation and interaction with other proteins. In a technique called homology modeling, this information is used to predict the structure of a protein once the structure of a homologous protein is known. This currently remains the only way to predict protein structures reliably.
    One example of this is the similar protein homology between hemoglobin in humans and the hemoglobin in legumes (leghemoglobin). Both serve the same purpose of transporting oxygen in the organism. Though both of these proteins have completely different amino acid sequences, their protein structures are virtually identical, which reflects their near identical purposes.
    Other techniques for predicting protein structure include protein threading and de novo (from scratch) physics-based modeling.

13. Molecular Interaction:
    Efficient software is available today for studying interactions among proteins, ligands and peptides. Types of interactions most often encountered in the field include – Protein–ligand (including drug), protein–protein and protein–peptide.
    Molecular dynamic simulation of movement of atoms about rotatable bonds is the fundamental principle behind computational algorithms, termed docking algorithms for studying molecular interactions.

14. Docking Algorithms:
    In the last two decades, tens of thousands of protein three-dimensional structures have been determined by X-ray crystallography and Protein nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (protein NMR). One central question for the biological scientist is whether it is practical to predict possible protein–protein interactions only based on these 3D shapes, without doing protein–protein interaction experiments. A variety of methods have been developed to tackle the Protein–protein docking problem, though it seems that there is still much work to be done in this field.

Software And Tools

Software tools for bioinformatics range from simple command-line tools, to more complex graphical programs and standalone web-services available from various bioinformatics companies or public institutions.

15. Open Source Bioinformatics Software:
    Many free and open source software tools have existed and continued to grow since the 1980s. The combination of a continued need for new algorithms for the analysis of emerging types of biological readouts, the potential for innovative in silico experiments, and freely available open code bases have helped to create opportunities for all research groups to contribute to both bioinformatics and the range of open source software available, regardless of their funding arrangements. The open source tools often act as incubators of ideas, or community-supported plug-ins in commercial applications. They may also provide de facto standards and shared object models for assisting with the challenge of bioinformation integration.
    The range of open source software packages includes titles such as Bioconductor, BioPerl, BioJava, Bioclipse, EMBOSS, Taverna workbench, and UGENE. In order to maintain this tradition and create further opportunities, the non-profit Open Bioinformatics Foundation have supported the annual Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC) since 2000. 

16. Web Services In Bioinformatics:
    SOAP and REST-based interfaces have been developed for a wide variety of bioinformatics applications allowing an application running on one computer in one part of the world to use algorithms, data and computing resources on servers in other parts of the world. The main advantages derive from the fact that end users do not have to deal with software and database maintenance overheads.
    Basic bioinformatics services are classified by the EBI into three categories: SSS (Sequence Search Services), MSA (Multiple Sequence Alignment) and BSA (Biological Sequence Analysis). The availability of these service-oriented bioinformatics resources demonstrate the applicability of web based bioinformatics solutions, and range from a collection of standalone tools with a common data format under a single, standalone or web-based interface, to integrative, distributed and extensible bioinformatics workflow management systems.


Category: Defining BioInformatics | Views: 475 | Added by: Ansari | Rating: 0.0/0
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