ComBio: day 1

Brief notes from day 1 of ComBio 2007. I’ve provided links where possible so you can go off in search of some new science.

More than 40 years of membrane proteins: how about the role of lipids?
Widmar Tanner Home page | PubMed search
An entertaining talk on the history of membrane transporter research, with some nice GFP imagery of heterogenously-distributed membrane transporters. Keywords: lipid rafts, eisosomes.

Structural insight into ion channel function and regulation.
Dan Minor Home page | PubMed search
Some interesting structural data from calcium channels and voltage-gated potassium channels. Keywords: KChIP, SAXS, cruciform.

Crystal structure of a thermally-stable rhodopsin mutant.
Jorg Standfuss Home page | PubMed search
Engineered stability using introduced disulphide bonds. Nice example of how to get diffraction data from a 5 micron crystal (a 5 micron beamline helps). Keywords: GPCR, N2C, D282C, microfocus beamline.

New insights into receptor signalling.
Michael Parker Home page | PubMed search
A talk on cytokine receptors and signalling. 2000 crystallisation trials, 200 crystals tried for a 3.3 Å result! Keywords: GM-CSF, IL3, IL5.

A dynamic scaffold: cytoskeletal organisation of cellulose synthase and plant cell shape.
David Ehrhardt Home page | PubMed search
More great imaging of cellulose synthase complex migrating in real-time. Central thesis is that cellulose synthase movement and so cellulose fibre growth is microtubule-associated. Keywords: CESA, YFP, trans-golgi network, hypocotyl.

The enzyme breathing theory: insight into the evolution of quaternary structure of an essential bacterial enzyme.
Matt Perugini Home page | PubMed search
The enzyme is DHDPS (dihydrodipicolinate synthase). Nice structural biology story on how tetramerisation maintains activity and allosteric regulation. Keywords: DHDPS, ultracentrifugation, convergent evolution.

BAFF: an important factor in autoimmunity identified through genomic data mining.
Fabienne Mackay Home page | PubMed search
Awful lot of immunological detail in this talk, not much genomic data mining. Keywords: BAFF, TNF/TNF-R, B-cell maturation.

Microarrays and bioinformatics for selection of targets for inflammatory diseases.
Charles Mackay Home page | PubMed search
Take-home message: strongly differentially-expressed genes often have a disease phenotype, but not always the expected one. Keywords: CXCR7, aP2, C5alphaR, PAC-1.

Function prediction at different scales.
Peer Bork Home page | PubMed search
Great overview of protein functional prediction, from single sequences to metagenomes. Keywords: TAP tag, metagenomics.

2 thoughts on “ComBio: day 1

  1. Neil, this is a fantastic job, summarizing so many talks!
    I am somewhat puzzled about SYN-09-02: “BAFF: an important factor in autoimmunity identified through genomic data mining”. This the author mention anything how they discovered BAFF by data mining? So far, I have assumed that it was me who discovered BAFF (yes, by “genomic data mining” of sorts). I am just curious if your notes say how Fabienne claimed to have found the protein. Maybe through e-mail mining?

  2. I was also puzzled, as there was no data mining in the talk – just an awful lot of technical detail about various types of T- and B-cell. I think she mentioned that BAFF was an early example of a factor discovered by genomics but didn’t say who did the work, so may have been referring to you!

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