Bioinformatics : An Interdisciplinary Field That Combines Molecular Biology And Computer Science

Bioinformatics : An Interdisciplinary Field That Combines Molecular Biology And Computer Science

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Introduction to Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that combines molecular biology and computer science. Bioinformatics is using computational tools and approaches, associated with statistics, mathematics, and engineering, to acquire, analyze or organize biological, medical, and behavioral or health data. It has played a more and more important role in many areas of biology from the 20th century.
Introduction to Prion Protein
Homo Sapiens PRNP is found on the short arm of Chromosome 20 from position 4686150 to position 4701587 (Figure 1 in Appendix). The official name of PRNP is prion protein. Its other aliases include ASCR, AltPrP, CD230, CJD, GSS, KURU, KRIP, PrP, PrP27-30, PrP33-35C, PrPc, p27-30. There are about 124 organisms having PRNP gene, including house mouse, sheep, cattle, Norway rat, chicken, dog, rabbit, chimpanzee, pig, goat, house, golden hamster, and even fungi (BLAST). However, the PRNP gene is located in different chromosome in different organisms. For example, in house mouse, it’s located in chromosome 2; while in sheep, it’s located in chromosome 13. PRNP also plays different roles in different organisms. In mammals, the PRNP gene provides instructions for making an active protein in the brain and several other tissues, called prion protein (PrP). In fungi, it plays a specialized role in the growth (Goodsell, 2008).
In molecular evolution, PRNP gene should be negative selection, because DNA change in this gene is harmful, causing a rare brain disease. Mahal et al. (2001) discovered that the promoter of PRNP gene doesn’t have a TATA box, instead it has a CCAAT box. It has a number of binding sites for the transcription factors. The human PRNP gene has two exons. Prion protein (...


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... tools to find conserved domains. Human PrP has two conserved domains, Bovine prion protein and major prion protein. Protein Data Bank (PDB) is a tool to build a 3D mode for a protein. PDB found some crystal structures of plausible homologs of human PrP. Based on one of the crystal structure of plausible homologs, Phyre2 could build the crystal structure of human prion protein through homology modeling. STRING a tool to find out the net of relationship and interaction between human prion protein and other proteins.
Bioinformatics is a new field in biological science, using computational, mathematical and engineering approaches to study and research molecular biology, including genes and proteins. Bioinformatics analysis of human prion protein supports that human prion protein is a gene located on chromosome 20, and mutation could lead to brain disorder diseases.

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