Structures in systems biology.

TitleStructures in systems biology.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsBeltrao, P, Kiel C, Serrano L
JournalCurrent opinion in structural biology
Date Published2007 Jun

Oil and water do not normally mix, and apparently structural biology and systems biology look like two different universes. It can be argued that structural biology could play a very important role in systems biology. Although at the final stage of understanding a signal transduction pathway, a cell, an organ or a living system, structures could be obviated, we need them to be able to reach that stage. Structures of macromolecules, especially molecular machines, could provide quantitative parameters, help to elucidate functional networks or enable rational designed perturbation experiments for reverse engineering. The role of structural biology in systems biology should be to provide enough understanding so that macromolecules can be translated into dots or even into equations devoid of atoms.

Alternate JournalCurr. Opin. Struct. Biol.