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661: Malaria Puzzle
Status: Closed


Name: 661: Malaria Puzzle
Status: Closed
Created: 12/17/2012
Points: 100
Expired: 01/03/2013 - 23:00
Difficulty: Intermediate
Description: Help solve the structure of the PfRh5 malaria protein that binds to human red blood cells. Understanding the structure of this protein could help in the development of vaccines and therapeutics for malaria.
Categories: Overall, Prediction

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Joined: 05/09/2008
Groups: None
Secondary Structure Predictions

will be posted soon...

Joined: 05/09/2008
Groups: None
Secondary structure predictions posted

Here is the sequence logo predicted by the SAM server.

H = helix
E = sheet
C = loop (or coil)

The taller the letter at each position, the higher the probability of that specific secondary structure for that amino acid.

For example, the amino acid Leucines at residue 11-12 & 68 are highly predicted to be part of a sheet. However, the Isoleucines at residue 34, 86 & 131 have an equal probability of being anything.

BCAA's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 years 24 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10/20/2012
Groups: It's over 9000!
THE Malaria protein?

What kind of malaria protein is this? Isn't Malaria caused by various Plasmodium parasites? It would be interesting to know more about this task.

pauldunn's picture
User offline. Last seen 2 days 13 min ago. Offline
Joined: 09/20/2010
Groups: Go Science
Plasmodium falciparum?

source: http://www.uniprot.org

It matches the Reticulocyte binding protein 5 -Plasmodium falciparum (isolate 3D7)entry Q8IFM5 and Reticulocyte binding protein 5 - Plasmodium falciparum entry B2L3N7 except for an added cysteine.

BCAA's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 years 24 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10/20/2012
Groups: It's over 9000!

@Paul: It wasn't clear, until I asked for the specific protein. No PfRh5 in the description. And malaria is can be caused by Plasmodium vivax, too. But only the tertiana form.

@Foldit: If malaria proteins aren't determined well we should have some "Merry Christmas Malaria Folding Weeks". I mean it's still a deadly disease and there's no 100% protection against mosquito bites like protection against AIDS.

Oh and for the next puzzle descriptions, if I may ask:
If you can, please put more than 3 lines in the description. Why are we folding this specific protein? Is it promising some algorithm improvements? Or are scientific departments asking for it? It's really interesting to me and I guess for other's, too.

Thanks again.

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