Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecular coordination in evolution

Date:
March 5, 2013
Source:
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)
Summary:
Spanish researchers have published a review on the latest computational methods that, based on evolutionary principles, are revolutionizing the field of analysis and prediction of protein structure, function and protein-protein interactions, as well as the short- and long-term expectations for the field.

A CNIO team, led by Alfonso Valencia, has revised the latest methodologies for studying the evolution and interaction of proteins, as well as future applications for selective drug development.

Related Articles


Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) researchers Alfonso Valencia, Director of the Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme and David de Juan, jointly with Florencio Pazos, from the Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC), publish a review on the latest computational methods that, based on evolutionary principles, are revolutionising the field of analysis and prediction of protein structure, function and protein-protein interactions, as well as the short- and long-term expectations for the field.

"The computational and mathematical analysis tools that study how proteins evolve in a coordinated fashion -- a process known as molecular coevolution -- have undergone important changes over the past few years," explains Valencia.

This revolution in the study of microscale evolution is allowing researchers to predict interactions between proteins and to understand the structural changes that take place in these molecules. It also represents the basis for understanding how mutations caused by diseases such as cancer or neurodegenerative disease affect their underlying molecular framework.

Proteins -- just like the different species at the macroscopic level, via competitive or symbiotic interactions -- do not act in an isolated manner but rather coordinate amongst themselves in order to carry out their functional roles. These biological relationships explain why there is a tendency in evolution to introduce coordinated changes in proteins, which allow for the preservation and modulation of these relationships.

"The development of new, more powerful and more reliable mathematical methods than those available in the 1990s is allowing us to explore these biological problems at the molecular level, and provide a deeper vision of the Darwinian process," says Valencia. "These methods based on coevolution are like a telescope, helping us to observe and understand biological and molecular processes."

More Than 20 Years Of Research Predicting Molecular Relationships

In the revision, the authors describe those mathematical methods that, based on the evolution of pairs of proteins, are capable of predicting molecular interactions at different levels of complexity.

These methods include those approaches from the 1990s that predicted contact points between proteins; those that allow us to understand binding selectivity between very similar proteins -or ones that belong to the same family- and their ligands; or even, at a deeper level of complexity, those that predict interaction networks between the thousands of proteins that make up cells.

Over the last 20 years, Valencia's team has led several lines of research related to this field, many of which are still being studied by many other groups and in which his team continues to be a world leader.

"In 2012, we published a new set of predictions on the specificity of the binding of the Ras oncogene to other proteins. The tool was based on coevolution methods that we had developed a couple of years ago, and that are now being widely explored by other groups," explains Valencia. The Ras protein family is associated with a wide spectrum of cancers, so learning the language it uses with other proteins that are important for cells might open avenues for the development of novel drugs.

The authors of the study foresee a promising future for this field, in which bioinformatics programmers, physicists, biologists and mathematicians join forces in order to describe the complexity of protein dynamics.

"In the long term, we hope that unifying these methods will help us to manipulate or create new drugs that selectively target abnormal cells and therefore reduce side effects," says de Juan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David de Juan, Florencio Pazos, Alfonso Valencia. Emerging methods in protein co-evolution. Nature Reviews Genetics, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nrg3414

Cite This Page:

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). "Molecular coordination in evolution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305080743.htm>.
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). (2013, March 5). Molecular coordination in evolution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305080743.htm
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). "Molecular coordination in evolution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305080743.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins