Structure of the 40s ribosomal subunit of plasmodium falciparum by homology and de novo modeling.
Mwangi, Harrison N
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Generation of three dimensional structures of macromolecules using in silico structural modeling technologies such as homology and de novo modeling has improved dramatically and increased the speed by which tertiary structures of organisms can be generated. This is especially the case if a homologous crystal structure is already available. High-resolution structures can be rapidly created using only their sequence information as input, a process that has the potential to increase the speed of scientific discovery. In this study, homology modeling and structure prediction tools such as RNA123 and SWISS-MODEL were used to generate the 40S ribosomal subunit from Plasmodium falciparum. This structure was modeled using the published crystal structure from Tetrahymena thermophila, a homologous eukaryote. In the absence of the Plasmodium falciparum 40S ribosomal crystal structure, the model accurately depicts a global topology, secondary and tertiary connections, and gives an overall root mean square deviation (RMSD) value of 3.9 Å relative to the template׳s crystal structure. Deviations are somewhat larger in areas with no homology between the templates. These results demonstrate that this approach has the power to identify motifs of interest in RNA and identify potential drug targets for macromolecules whose crystal structures are unknown. The results also show the utility of RNA homology modeling software for structure determination and lay the groundwork for applying this approach to larger and more complex eukaryotic ribosomes and other RNA-protein complexes. Structures generated from this study can be used in in silico screening experiments and lead to the determination of structures for targets/hit complexes.
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