Stefano Piccoli, Eda Suku, Marianna Garonzi and Alejandro Giorgetti Pages 324 - 329 ( 6 )
Transmembrane proteins allow cells to extensively communicate with the external world in a very accurate and specific way. They form principal nodes in several signaling pathways and attract large interest in therapeutic intervention, as the majority pharmaceutical compounds target membrane proteins. Thus, according to the current genome annotation methods, a detailed structural/functional characterization at the protein level of each of the elements codified in the genome is also required. The extreme difficulty in obtaining high-resolution three-dimensional structures, calls for computational approaches. Here we review to which extent the efforts made in the last few years, combining the structural characterization of membrane proteins with protein bioinformatics techniques, could help describing membrane proteins at a genome-wide scale. In particular we analyze the use of comparative modeling techniques as a way of overcoming the lack of high-resolution three-dimensional structures in the human membrane proteome.
Genome-wide scale analysis, Homology modeling, Human membrane proteome, Multitasking approach, Protein structural bioinformatics, Membrane protein.
Applied Bioinformatics Group, Dept. of Biotechnology, University of Verona, strada Le grazie 15, 37134, Verona, Italy.