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Pharmacogenomics J. 2001;1(2):126-34.

Critically assessing the state-of-the-art in protein structure prediction.

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Institute for Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics, Dept of Biological Sciences, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK.


One of the most tantalising 'grand challenges' in structural biology is to solve the problem of predicting the structure of a protein from its amino acid sequence alone. Although this problem appeals to many researchers on a purely academic level, the practical importance of protein structure prediction has become particularly clear with the release of the first draft of the complete human genome sequence last year. This moved modern biology into the new so-called 'post genome' era, and for the foreseeable future, one of the main issues in modern biology will be the characterisation of the many 'unknown' gene sequences which are now sitting waiting in DNA and protein data banks. Protein structure can provide a great deal of insight into the evolutionary origins, function and mechanism of a protein, and so any means for determining the 3-D structure of a novel protein will likely be of critical importance.

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