Structural Biochemistry/Function Attribution

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Background

On a microscopic scale, macromolecular structure is seen as a reflection of a specific function. Scientists have concluded that structural patterns found in genes and gene products serve as a key in understanding function. Each macromolecule exhibits certain characteristics, distinct of all other macromolecules. This allows for researchers the ability to interpret molecular function as a product of structure. Albeit this is often mislabeled as a simple and efficient process, the complexity and intricacy required in relating structure to function is immense.

Problem

A major issue facing modern biochemists is the nature in which those structures are interpreted and how they translate into function. Despite common misconceptions this process has been the focus of hundreds of research papers. As a result, structures including genes and gene products have been a focus of study by researchers. In order to decode molecular structure, researchers have employed several techniques, each addressing different attributes. Each technique or method addresses a different attribute. As a result, if a researcher is to observe a certain functional attribution, they must employ the appropriate method.

Interpretation

For example, a certain technique requires a cellular protein to be isolated and prepared in a buffer solution as to allow for the detection of a particular catalytic activity. After the addiction of a substrate, if a certain enzymatic activity is detected by the researcher, that specific activity is then attributed to the cellular protein in question. The formal term attributed to that type of activity would be known as biomedical function. In this particular experiment, the effects observed would be directly attributed to the protein in question. On a different note, if a protein were to be changed by the deletion or modification of its amino acid sequence, major phenotypic changes may be observed in the resulting cellular content. The observed changes may consequently be attributed to the gene and gene product which are associated with protein function. Although minute, such functional changes can have major impacts and are crucial to bodily systems.