Structural biology

Structural biology

Structural biology is a branch of molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics concerned with the molecular structure of biological macromolecules, especially proteins and nucleic acids, how they acquire the structures they have, and how alterations in their structures affect their function. This subject is of great interest to biologists because macromolecules carry out most of the functions of cells, and because it is only by coiling into specific three-dimensional shapes that they are able to perform these functions. This architecture, the "tertiary structure" of molecules, depends in a complicated way on the molecules' basic composition, or "primary structures."

Hemoglobin, the oxygen transporting protein found in red blood cells

Biomolecules are too small to see in detail even with the most advanced light microscopes. The methods that structural biologists use to determine their structures generally involve measurements on vast numbers of identical molecules at the same time. These methods include:

Most often researchers use them to study the static "native states" of macromolecules. But variations on these methods are also used to watch nascent or denatured molecules assume or reassume their native states. See protein folding.

A third approach that structural biologists take to understanding structure is bioinformatics to look for patterns among the diverse sequences that give rise to particular shapes. Researchers often can deduce aspects of the structure of integral membrane proteins based on the membrane topology predicted by hydrophobicity analysis. See protein structure prediction.

In the past few years it has become possible for highly accurate physical molecular models to complement the in silico study of biological structures.

See also

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • structural biology — noun A branch of biochemistry or biophysics in which the three dimensional structures of biomolecules, such as proteins, DNA, or RNA, are obtained using X ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) …   Wiktionary

  • Acta Crystallographica Section F: Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications —   Titre abrégé Acta Crystallogr. Sect. F …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Journal of Structural Biology —   Titre abrégé J. Struct. Biol. Discipline Biochimie Biologie Langue Anglais …   Wikipédia en Français

  • BMC Structural Biology — Infobox Journal discipline = Structural biology abbreviation = BMC Struct. Biol. website = publisher = BioMed Central country = UK ISSN = 1472 6807 impact = 3.06 (2007) BMC Structural Biology is an… …   Wikipedia

  • Molecular and Structural Biology — Division is one of the premium division of CDRI. The division has fine list of top scientists from India. Most of the scientists are working with structure and functions of protein molecules from a range of prokaryotic to eukaryotic kingdom.… …   Wikipedia

  • Structural genomics — consists in the determination of the three dimensional structure of all proteins of a given organism, by experimental methods such as X ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy or computational approaches such as homology modelling.As opposed to… …   Wikipedia

  • Structural parasitology — is the study of the structures of proteins for interesting parasites. It applies the techniques of structural biology (such as X ray crystallography or NMR) to determine the 3 D structures of protein molecules involved in a parasitic relationship …   Wikipedia

  • Biology — For other uses, see Biology (disambiguation). Biology deals with the study of the many varieties of living organisms. Cloc …   Wikipedia

  • Structural bioinformatics — NOTOC Structural bioinformatics refers to the branch of bioinformatics which is related to the analysis and prediction of the three dimensional structure of biological macromolecules such as proteins. The term structural has the same meaning as… …   Wikipedia

  • Biology — • The science on life and living organisms Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Biology     Biology     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”