TOOLS: Matchmaker

Science  17 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5763, pp. 925e
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5763.925e

Biologists puzzling over the role of a protein can get help at Minimotif Miner, created by Sanguthevar Rajasekaran, Martin Schiller, and others at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. The new site searches your protein for hundreds of motifs—short stretches of amino acids—that are known to perform specific roles in other proteins, such as binding to or modifying other molecules. Enter the ReqSeq number for your protein or paste in its sequence, choose from eight species (including yeast, humans, and fruit flies), and the site serves up a results page that includes data such as how common the motif is in that species and how conserved it has been through evolution. Some of the 39 motifs that Minimotif Miner found in the human prion protein include two motifs that overlap with mutations that lead to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

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