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NIGMS Protein Structure Initiative Wraps up Phase I, Determining Structures of More Than 1,000 Proteins

NEW YORK, Feb. 11 (GenomeWeb News) - The National Institute of General Medical Sciences announced yesterday that its 10-year Protein Structure Initiative has so far determined the structures of more than1,000 proteins as it wraps up the first phase of the project.


The PSI is a $600 million project that was started in 2000 to determine the three-dimensional shapes of 4,000 to 6,000 unique proteins that represent the variety found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. Researchers can use these structures to build computer models of the structures of other proteins with related amino acid sequences.


"The protein structures solved by the PSI are more thana scientific stamp collection," said John Norvell, director of the PSI at NIGMS. "They will help researchers better understand the function of proteins, predict the shape of unknown proteins, quickly identify targets for drug development, and compare protein structures from normal and diseased tissues."


The first phase of the PSI focused on developing new tools and automated processes to enable researchers to quickly, cheaply, and reliably determine the shapes of proteins. The next five-year next phase, which will begin in July, will focus on determining harder-to-solve protein structures, such as the structures of membrane proteins.


More information about the PSI can be found here.

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