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Proteins. 2003 Jan 1;50(1):44-8.

Subcellular location prediction of apoptosis proteins.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. gzhou@caregroup.harvard.edu


Apoptosis proteins have a central role in the development and homeostasis of an organism. These proteins are very important for understanding the mechanism of programmed cell death. Many efforts in pharmaceutical research have been aimed at understanding their structure and function. Unfortunately, thus far, very few apoptosis protein structures have been determined. In contrast, many apoptosis protein sequences are known, and many more are expected to come in the near future. Because of the extremely unbalanced state, it would be worthwhile to develop a fast sequence-based method to identify their subcellular location so as to gain some insight about their biological function. In view of this, a study was initiated in an attempt to identify the subcellular location of apoptosis proteins according to their sequences by means of the covariant discriminant function, which was established based on the Mahalanobis distance and Chou's invariance theorem (Chou, Proteins 1995;21:319-344). The results were quite promising, indicating that the subcellular location of apoptosis proteins are predictable to a considerably accurate extent if a good training data set can be established. It is expected that, with a continuous improvement of the training data set by incorporating more and more new data, the current method might eventually become a useful tool in this area because the function of an apoptosis protein is closely related to its subcellular location.

Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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