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Published: Martin Schiller
Martin Schiller (Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine) and the Schiller Laboratory of Applied Bioinformatics, along with peers at other institutions, recently published research findings about “The Functional Human C-Terminome” in PLoS ONE. Schiller’s publication announces a new “-ome” (or part) of a protein region called the C-terminal region, which is found at the end of all proteins.
Proteins (molecules that are responsible for maintaining homeostasis—i.e., internal stability—and communication among cells) and their minimotifs (short stretches of amino acids found in these proteins) ensure proper cell function. Understanding how proteins and their minimotifs execute these functions is critical to diagnosing and curing diseases such as cancer that develop because of protein misregulation.
Schiller’s preliminary data analysis revealed that roughly 13 percent of the human gene exploits the C-terminal region to ensure proper cell functionality. Schiller has computationally predicted approximately 9 million novel minimotifs specific to the C-terminal region of the remaining 87 percent of the human gene.
He has taken this information and created the C-Terminome web application to share both the expressed minimotifs of the 13 percent as well as the predicted 9 million minimotifs of the remaining 87 percent. This resource, complete with video tutorials and a user guide to assist users in navigating the tool, will help the scientific community make informed decisions about the functions of poorly understood proteins. This area of research, called functional genomics, is relevant to personalized medicine.