Releasing coordinates

Mon Sep 12 21:43:05 EST 1994

>  David Mueller writes:

>What is considered an acceptable time to release
>the coordinates of the crystal structure of
>a protein  - relative to the time that the
>structure is published?  What is considered
>an unacceptable amount of time?  Are there
>any standards?

First, the ONLY acceptable course upon publishing
is to deposit the coordinates.  Now, I believe
that it's perfectly reasonable to place a hold on 
the coords for, say 18 months after deposition
(and deposition will coincide roughly with
publishing).  This gives the small labs a
head start during which they can reap the 
hard-won fruits of their structure (for example,
determine the structures of enzyme-drug complexes
or of different isoforms).  Were this not 
possible, one can imagine scenarios wherein
large aggressive labs could snarf up the 
coordinates from the PDB and use the phases
calculated there from to churn out a 
gazillion variants of the structure in short
order.  This might easily squelch any 
further work by the originating lab,.  You can
imagine that small labs may well be incapable of
investing the years of groundwork required to 
establish a system if they can only get on
structure from that system.
	Of course, decency and courtesy require
that investigators release the coordinates
earlier to folks with strong vested interests
(eg, enzymologists who are working on a 
particular enzyme).  One way to do this is
to simply require that they use them only in
their own lab and don't release them without
your permission.
	I'd be curious to hear other folks' 
opinions of this.

Pat Loll
Univ. of Chicago
loll at

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