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Elucidation of proteins' functional network is our goal.

Elucidation of the human genome map was completed in April, 2003. Analysis of the results revealed that the human genome consists of approximately 32,000 genes. Information contained in the genes dictates when, where, and how much of each protein will be expressed. Such information is represented by the positional arrangement of four types of nucleotides (adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C)) in DNA. Protein is composed of a folded string of amino acid chains, the sequence of which is determined by this nucleotide arrangement. DNA serves as the template from which RNA is synthesized (transcription). Unnecessary segments of RNA are then removed (splicing). Finally, the sequence of the spliced RNA serves as a template to produce a string of amino acids (translation), which is followed by a thermodynamically controlled folding process that is unique for each protein’s sequence. These three-dimensional (3D) folded protein structures often possess novel functions. Determination of the 3D structures, therefore, allows us to understand protein functions. Proteins become functional by interacting with other biomolecules, including other proteins, DNA, lipids, sugars, etc. Signals from outside the cell can enter the cell in a relay-like pathway where the message is passed on from one protein to the next. In the cell nucleus, the signal can trigger production of new proteins. Understanding how proteins are inter-connected can help to elucidate many bio-processes. The structure of a protein determines which bio-molecules it can interact with. In order for a protein to interact with other biomolecules, the shape of the bio-molecule must complement the shape of the active site of the protein; akin to a key fitting into a keyhole. The RSGI will contribute to the elucidation of protein functional networks via protein structural analyses. RSGI research will also contribute significantly to the pharmaceutical industry. Diseases often arise from aberrant proteins, which cause a breakdown in the protein network.

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