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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2007 Jun;17(3):347-53. Epub 2007 Jun 22.

Structural genomics: keeping up with expanding knowledge of the protein universe.

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Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA.


Structural characterization of the protein universe is the main mission of Structural Genomics (SG) programs. However, progress in gene sequencing technology, set in motion in the 1990s, has resulted in rapid expansion of protein sequence space--a twelvefold increase in the past seven years. For the SG field, this creates new challenges and necessitates a re-assessment of its strategies. Nevertheless, despite the growth of sequence space, at present nearly half of the content of the Swiss-Prot database and over 40% of Pfam protein families can be structurally modeled based on structures determined so far, with SG projects making an increasingly significant contribution. The SG contribution of new Pfam structures nearly doubled from 27.2% in 2003 to 51.6% in 2006.

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