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Nat Struct Biol. 2001 Jun;8(6):559-66.

Completeness in structural genomics.

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MIT Center for Genome Research, One Kendall Square, Building 300, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Structural genomics has the goal of obtaining useful, three-dimensional models of all proteins by a combination of experimental structure determination and comparative model building. We evaluate different strategies for optimizing information return on effort. The strategy that maximizes structural coverage requires about seven times fewer structure determinations compared with the strategy in which targets are selected at random. With a choice of reasonable model quality and the goal of 90% coverage, we extrapolate the estimate of the total effort of structural genomics. It would take approximately 16,000 carefully selected structure determinations to construct useful atomic models for the vast majority of all proteins. In practice, unless there is global coordination of target selection, the total effort will likely increase by a factor of three. The task can be accomplished within a decade provided that selection of targets is highly coordinated and significant funding is available.

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