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PSI:Biology-Materials Repository (PSI:Biology-MR)

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As of February 2013, there are over 65,000 PSI plasmids in DNASU

PSI:Biology-MR Background

With the completion of the sequencing of the genomes of human and other organisms, attention has focused on the characterization and function of proteins, the products of genes. The availability of sequence data and the growing impact of structural biology on biomedical research have prompted scientific groups from several countries to undertake projects in the emerging field of structural genomics. The objective of the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) is to solve protein structures and to make these structures widely available for clinical and basic studies with the expectation that this will expand the knowledge of the role of proteins both in normal biological processes and in disease. The long-range goal of the PSI is to make the three-dimensional atomic-level structures of most proteins easily predictable from their corresponding DNA sequences. The goals of the next phase of the PSI, PSI:Biology, are to continue solving protein structures and to apply high-throughput structural biology to important biological problems, which includes encouraging partnerships between structural biologists and investigators from the biological, biochemical, and/or molecular communities

The PSI comprises a consortium of institutions, each of which focuses on a unique set of targets or protein type (e.g. eukaryotic proteins or membrane proteins). Each PSI Center has created thousands of plasmid clones containing genes or fragments of genes to be used for protein expression, purification, crystallization and structure determination. The PSI- Materials Repository, now the PSI:Biology-Materials Repository (PSI:Biology-MR) was established in 2006 with the mission of storing, maintaining and distributing the tens of thousands of plasmid clones produced by PSI researchers.

The MR stores the physical samples along with plasmid annotation, which includes the insert sequence, vector information, vector maps and sequences. Additional annotations are assembled through the PSI Structural Biology Knowledgebase and other resources to facilitate cross referencing of the plasmid to relevant experimental and structural data. Combined, this creates a valuable resource that can be used by non-PSI researchers to determine the biological functions of these genes, many of which are hypothetical genes or genes of unknown function.

For more information about the PSI:Biology-MR see our recently published paper in the Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics and see here for regularly updated news about the MR.