BLASTing away preconceptions in crystallization trials

Crystallization is in many cases a critical step for solving the three-dimensional structure of a protein molecule. Determining which set of chemicals to use in the initial screen is typically agnostic of the protein under investigation; however, crystallization efficiency could potentially be improved if this were not the case. Previous work has assumed that sequence similarity may provide useful information about appropriate crystallization cocktails; however, the authors are not aware of any quantitative verification of this assumption. This research investigates whether, given current information, one can detect any correlation between sequence similarity and crystallization cocktails. BLAST was used to quantitate the similarity between protein sequences in the Protein Data Bank, and this was compared with three estimations of the chemical similarities of the respective crystallization cocktails. No correlation was detected between proteins of similar (but not identical) sequence and their crystallization cocktails, suggesting that methods of determining screens based on this assumption are unlikely to result in screens that are better than those currently in use.
Source: Acta Crystallographica Section F - Category: Biochemistry Authors: Tags: PDB Protein Data Bank REMARK 280 crystallization sequences BLAST research communications Source Type: research

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