Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Mehanizmi zvitja in agregacije proteinov (Slovene)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.04.02  Natural sciences and mathematics  Chemistry  Structural chemistry 

Code Science Field
1.04  Natural Sciences  Chemical sciences 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  09899  PhD Franc Avbelj  Chemistry  Head  2009 - 2012  72 
2.  16104  PhD Apolonija Bedina Zavec  Biotechnology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  151 
3.  08329  PhD Simona Golič Grdadolnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2012  298 
4.  08523  PhD Jože Grdadolnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2012  254 
5.  09905  PhD Darko Kocjan  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2012  167 
6.  21241  PhD Ana Lenassi Zupan  Biotechnology  Researcher  2010  16 
7.  06033  Silva Zagorc    Technical associate  2009 - 2010 
8.  26516  PhD Jernej Zidar  Computer intensive methods and applications  Researcher  2010 - 2012  26 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,470 
Significance for science
The Human Genome project has been successfully completed and the genomes of many other organisms have been published recently. The main goal of these efforts is to find the sequences of all proteins encoded in the genomes of living organisms. Numerous new proteins have been uncovered using the genetic code; however, their structures and biological functions are generally unknown. To understand how the cell works it is crucial that three-dimensional structures and biological functions of all proteins encoded in DNA sequence are known. Determinations of three-dimensional structures and functions of proteins is extremely difficult and time consuming task. It would be much faster and less expensive if we could predict three-dimensional structures of proteins with computers. Biological function and other properties of proteins can then be deduced from their three-dimensional structures. It is expected that solution of the protein folding problem would have a huge impact on science, particularly on chemistry, biology and medicine. For solving the protein folding problem it is crucial to develop the potential force field, which will correctly describe structure and dynamics of proteins. This is the main goal of this research project. Detailed knowledge of the molecular events in protein folding is important for understanding causes of hundreds of diseases (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, some types of cancer, type II diabetes, cystic fibrosis, transmissible prion diseases). The structure prediction algorithms will be used also for modeling bio-molecular systems like ligand-receptor and enzyme-substrate complexes and other protein interactions, which will assist drug-design.
Significance for the country
Theoretical solution of the protein-folding problem will accelerate the development of science and technology in Slovenia (particularly in pharmaceutical firms Lek and Krka). The largest improvement is expected in drug-design. Current drug-design techniques are largely unsuccessful due to the approximations imposed by the simple “lock and key” model of drug action. The interactions of receptor and ligand molecules are often accompanied by changes in their conformations. Such changes will be predicted by the new algorithms, which would considerably decrease the cost of developing new drugs. Results of our research are published in highly ranked scientific journals. Based on these credentials we obtained industrial projects. We have performed a series of projects for the pharmaceutical companies Lek in which we study new drugs using modern methodology. Developing and using new methods of NMR and vibrational spectroscopy we solve actual problems encountered by the pharmaceutical companies Lek and Krka in production and analysis of their drugs, which directly influences the development project of our partners from the pharmaceutical industry. The proposed project is original and is based on our previously published research. The results of this research have been published in the scientific journals with very high impact factors (including Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA), which shows that our research is of high quality. With these results we promote Slovenian science. Implementation of modern methods of bio-molecular modeling, NMR and vibrational spectroscopy is in our national interest. The development of these new techniques is crucial for technological progress of some branches in Slovenia. Young researchers participate in the research. Young researchers are acquiring important knowledge required for realization of basic research project as well as development project in pharmaceutical industry. We cooperate in the international experiments CASP. Formally, this is the competition among research groups in predicting protein three-dimensional structures; however, the main goal of these experiments is to improve general knowledge in this field of research.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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