2005 Annual Science Report
University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting | JUL 2004 – JUN 2005
Analysis Tools for a Proteomic View of Adaptations to Extreme Environments
Another project at UH-NAI, entitled “A Proteomic View of Adaptations to Extreme Environments”, is concerned with developing a concise, molecular level understanding of how biomolecular structure allows microorganisms to adapt to various extreme aqueous environments. The specific question we are asking is: Are there identifiable protein motifs that allow for protein stability, and therefore organism survivability, which are adapted to function in particular environments? We are attempting to answer this question by applying a suite of techniques that include the development of proteomic databases, design and study of protein model molecules, and molecular characterization of extreme environments.
We are developing a set of computational tools to support this research. At the most basic level, these tools allow us to quickly perform statistical analyses of proteomic databases; for example, identifying and counting instances of protein motif classes that meet certain contextual constraints. We are also developing a program that uses a genetic algorithm to learn the features associated with protein stability in extreme environments, which we hope will generate novel protein structures to be tested in the lab.