DATABASE: Proteins on the Edge

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Science  02 Dec 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5753, pp. 1401
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5753.1401d

Membrane proteins connect cells to their environment, shuttling materials in and out and picking up communiqués from other cells. At this new clearinghouse run by structural biologist Martin Caffrey of Ohio State University in Columbus and colleagues, you can get the lowdown on more than 140 of these proteins, which are embedded in membranes or positioned near them. The site's profiles summarize information gleaned from other collections such as the Protein Data Bank and from the literature. Pick a molecule such as porin, which allows bacteria to sop up ions and nutrients, to uncover structural details such as how many times it winds through the membrane (16) and whether it harbors any metals or other nonprotein components (no). The entries also summarize how researchers crystallized the protein and determined its architecture.

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