May 15, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 10)


Strong Points: Broad database
Weak Points: Nothing Significant

Here is a database of protein structures that almost everyone can relate to—disulfide bonds. Important covalent stabilizers of protein tertiary structure, disulfide bonds are the “other covalent” bonds (besides peptide bonds) of proteins. At the DSDBASE site, visitors can search a database of over 19,000 proteins (2,849 nonredundant) with over 2.4 million total disulfides. An interesting offshoot of this site is the use of 3-D information in the proteins to design site-directed mutants, thus creating new disulfide bonds that may act to stabilize desired protein structures in an engineering protein. This is a VERY interesting idea and undoubtedly one that protein engineers will be all over faster than you can say “peptide bond.”