Whaddaya Know: A Guide to Uncertainty and Subjectivity in Structural Biology

Joel P. Mackay, Michael J. Landsberg, Andrew E. Whitten, Charles S. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The methods of structural biology, while powerful, are technically complex. Although the Protein Data Bank (PDB) provides a repository that allows anyone to download any structure, many users would not appreciate the caveats that should be considered when examining a structure. Here, we describe several key uncertainties associated with the application of X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, single-particle electron microscopy (SPEM), and small-angle scattering (SAS) to biological macromolecules. The take-home message is that structures are not absolute truths – they are models that fit the experimental data and therefore have uncertainty and subjectivity associated with them. These uncertainties must be appreciated – careful reading of the associated paper, and any validation report provided by the structure database, is highly recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Fingerprint

Uncertainty
Databases
Small Angle Scattering
X ray crystallography
X Ray Crystallography
Macromolecules
Electron microscopy
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Reading
Electron Microscopy
Theoretical Models
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Scattering
Proteins

Cite this

Mackay, Joel P. ; Landsberg, Michael J. ; Whitten, Andrew E. ; Bond, Charles S. / Whaddaya Know : A Guide to Uncertainty and Subjectivity in Structural Biology. In: Trends in Biochemical Sciences. 2017 ; Vol. 42, No. 2. pp. 155-167.
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Whaddaya Know : A Guide to Uncertainty and Subjectivity in Structural Biology. / Mackay, Joel P.; Landsberg, Michael J.; Whitten, Andrew E.; Bond, Charles S.

In: Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Vol. 42, No. 2, 01.02.2017, p. 155-167.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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