Structure and Function of Gene Products
Three dimonsional model of the enzyme trypsin. The atoms of the molecules are represented by spheres.
The image shows a comparison of the strcuture of two proteins with similar sequence.
After a gene is found, the interest shifts to determining the structure and function of the protein it codes for. The gene sequence determines the spatial structure of the molecule.
The three dimensional structure influences the tasks performed by the molecule in the body. Structures are usually experimentally determined by X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy. Bioinformaticians develop algorithms in order to predict the shape of the molecules as well as tools for the analysis of its function.
Database sequence searches are a favourable method for transferring established knowledge of the function of known proteins to newly sequenced genes.
Comparison of structures can also lead to the identification of molecular function.