Philip Tong


Philip Tong

Supervisor: Boris Steipe, Department of Biochemistry

WiP Seminar, 4 November 2008

The Discovery and Analysis of Structural Motifs, from Specifying the General, to Generalizing the Specifics

Recurring structural patterns observed across non-homologous protein families can be hypothesized as products of convergent evolution and may be associated with low conformational energy. These recurring patterns, which we call motifs, will give valuable insights in areas such as stability engineering and protein structure prediction. To specifically look at packing motifs in proteins, I have represented patterns in a way that can probe for general packing patterns that include both local and non-local interactions. After these tens of thousands of structural motifs were discovered, necessary statistical analyzes were done to uncover the biological meaning of these motifs. In working with structural motifs I have encountered several key challenges. I have highlighted the challenges with selected motif examples from the results.

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