DATABASE: A Visual Take on Proteins

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Science  04 Jun 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5676, pp. 1421
DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5676.1421d

The enzyme DNA polymerase is a molecular Xerox machine, cranking out copies of DNA before a cell divides. To investigate the architecture and activity of DNA polymerase or nearly 27,000 other proteins and nucleic acids, dig into the recently revamped PDBsum, created by Roman Laskowski of the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, U.K. The database provides visual synopses of structural and functional information stashed in the Protein Data Bank repository. But the site also supplies additional info. For instance, you can highlight structures such as helices and sheets and diagram the interactions between a protein and other molecules or metals. If enzymes are your bag, the linked Enzyme Structures Database houses data on some 12,000 of the proteins, organized by reaction mechanism.

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