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Unraveling Protein-Protein Interactions

Courtesy of Adrian Arakaki THERE'S GOLD IN THEM THERE COMPLEXES: Digging up protein-protein interactions with MULTIPROSPECTOR. Using a computer instead of a pipette, Jeffrey Skolnick contemplates the subtle forces that bring proteins together. His first computational forays helped decipher the quaternary structure of proteins--the interactions between subunits in molecules such as tropomyosin. Now Skolnick, executive director of the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics, Buffalo

Leslie Pray
Courtesy of Adrian Arakaki
 THERE'S GOLD IN THEM THERE COMPLEXES: Digging up protein-protein interactions with MULTIPROSPECTOR.

Using a computer instead of a pipette, Jeffrey Skolnick contemplates the subtle forces that bring proteins together. His first computational forays helped decipher the quaternary structure of proteins--the interactions between subunits in molecules such as tropomyosin. Now Skolnick, executive director of the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics, Buffalo, NY, works on a far bigger problem: understanding, modeling, and predicting the currently unfathomable rules of etiquette that govern protein alliances inside the cell on a genomic scale. "When you look inside a cell, it's not like you are looking at an isolated individual trapped on a desert island," he says. "It's more like a crowded party on New Year's Eve."

A party of proteins, that is. And understanding what those proteins are doing involves much more than simply reading the guest list. That's because...

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