Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Summer 2013

Abstract

Protein superfamilies incorporate any of a group of proteins having similar structure and functionality which descend from the same ancestral gene. The purpose of this study were to investigate the Tumor Necrosis Factor, TNF, superfamily composed of Tumor Necrosis Factor, TNF, and Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptors, TNFR by utilizing bioinformatics software. In this study, protein families were characterized by analyzing the similarities and differences between groups in the TNF and superfamily. The three species used in this study were Coelacanth, Fugu, and Homo sapiens. Bioinformatics techniques were utilized to analyze genes and characteristics of different organisms. A computer database, ENSEMBL, was used to collect data for the Coelacanth, Fugu, and Human TNF and TNFR proteins. ENSEMBL browser provides a variety of genomes with complete explanations using an automated genome annotation system. After determining whether the protein was the TNF or TNF receptor subfamily different groups were analyzed to determine similarities and inconsistencies in each group. Several genes were hypothesized to be artifacts or pseudo genes after analyzing the collected data. Computational tools or gene prediction tools mistake similar proteins that are not functionally related so they require manual manipulation to verify actual genes and not artifacts. The South African Bioinformatics Institute, SANBI, will conduct further analysis to verify all member of the TNF superfamily. By producing a phylogenetic tree, TNF superfamily can be further analyzed and its function in different organisms understood.

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Life Sciences Commons

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