Protein Structure.

"Anderson, John Natural Sciences JEANDERS at unf.edu
Sun Dec 30 12:55:31 EST 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: dag.stenberg at nospam.helsinki.fi
> [mailto:dag.stenberg at nospam.helsinki.fi]
> Sent: Saturday, 29 December 2001 13:30
> To: neur-sci at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
> Subject: Re: Protein Structure.
> Qinghong Zeng <beaglesci at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > My major is Structural Biology, and our lab has good
> > facilities to solve protein structures by X-ray. But
> > now I am short of some proteins which are potentially
> > important to study. If you are working at the study of
> > some protein¡¯s functions and interested in its
> > structure, please don¡¯t hesitate to contact with
> > me.If the protein can be expressed in E.coli and is
> > soluble,it will be good news to our collaboration.
> I do not get the idea in this posting at all.
> Do I understand that this guy wants to solve protein 
> structures but has
> no idea what to solve? And wants us, the world, to send him 
> problems to
> solve. He seems to imply that they can produce the protein under study
> in E.coli to get enough to crystallize and then find the structure of.
> I am very surprised because I happen to have contacts with a 
> guy who has
> been working on one multi-domain protein for a number of years, and is
> not complaining about lack of ideas what to study, but about how the
> structure still partially eludes them. He does not lack a problem, he
> lacks the final solution.

Speaking as a former macromolecular crystallographer, I don't think you
should be too surprised. There are two types of crystallographers: those who
use crystallography as a tool to study molecules they are interested in, and
those who use any available molecule, hopefully of some interest to
somebody, to develop crystallographic techniques.  Sounds like your
acquaintance is one of the former, and Qinghong Zeng is one of the latter.
Zeng might be from China where there could very well be a shortage of
suitable proteins.  It actually seems to me to be a very good way to scare
up an interesting problem.

> So, beaglesci, what do you really want to do? If somebody has 
> a problem,
> would you do it (any problem) for them even if it takes 2-3 
> years?

I imagine Zeng would answer yes.

John Anderson, PhD
Department of Chemistry & Physics
University of North Florida
4567 St Johns Bluff Road South
Jacksonville FL 32224
jander at unf.edu


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