August 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 14)
Strong Points: Useful analyses
Weak Points: Nothing significant
There is a world of difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. The complexity of eukaryotic cells necessitates efficient and practical means of targeting proteins to desired cellular locations. Fortunately, the means by which many of these are targeted is rooted in an amino acid sequence, and this analysis is readily performed by computers. Thus with the appropriate algorithms, one can readily analyze proteins and determine where they will be found in eukaryotic cells. This is particularly helpful in helping to determine the function of unknown genes. To the rescue for this work comes TargetP, which accepts single or multiple sequences (up to 2,000) pasted into a window (FASTA format) and returns information on each protein. It flags proteins targeted for chloroplasts, mitochondria, or for the secretory pathway. The interface is minimal but not a problem.