Establishing a structural genomics platform: The Berlin-based Protein Structure Factory


  • U. Heinemann


  • Gene Function and Disease


  • Gene Funct Dis 3 (1-2): 25-32


  • Structural genomics (structural proteomics) initiatives aiming at the systematic, genome-directed structure analysis of proteins have recently been established in many locations worldwide. As a common international research endeavor, these initiatives thrive at the determination of protein structures representing all sequence families known in the biosphere. To reach this goal, a degree of international coordination of the structural genomics effort, as well as the development of high-throughput structure analysis methods and the provision of suitable research facilities are required. The Protein Structure Factory is a local, Berlin-based structural genomics project aiming at the structure determination of human proteins of presumed structural novelty and medical relevance. This project employs both NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography for protein structure determination and aims at developing automated or semi-automated procedures for protein expression cloning and purification, and NMR spectral assignments. In addition, protein crystallography facilities are being set up at the third-generation synchrotron storage ring BESSY II in Berlin.