Researchers at the Structural Biology Center located at the Advanced photon Source have contributed their 1,000th structure to the Protein Data Bank. This structure – and its 999 predecessors – provide important pieces to the puzzle of understanding human and environmental health by imaging the molecules that control and regulate it. The 1,000th deposit is a three-dimensional structure of thrombospondin-1 that provides insight into how cells sense and communicate information about their health and how that information triggers cell responses ranging from raising defenses to fight disease and other perceived threats to cell death.
Thrombospondins are a family of extracellular glycoproteins that regulate cellular behavior during tissue genesis and repair such as wound healing. These functions are mediated by its interaction with a proteins and proteoglycans in the extracellular environment and at the cell surface.
The research was published in Structure (2006 Jan. 14 (1): 33-42), and is a collaboration between the Dana Farber Cancer Institute of Harvard Medical School and Argonne's SBC.