The Bioinformatics Core will work closely with the major users by providing a customized laboratory sample tracking system, an efficient and quick data pipeline, a tailored project management system, and a web portal to facilitate sharing of experimental results. The Core will convert the data acquired from a range of mass spectrometric platforms into qualitative and quantitative information to address the questions posed by our users. Besides facilitating the analysis of the data for the users using a range of commercial software, several new bioinformatics tools will be created to benefit both local users and the broader neuroscience communities. We will continue the development of NeuroPred, a currently available web-based tool that predicts prohormone cleavages and the resulting signaling peptides. This predictor provides a valuable link between genetic information coding for the protein prohormones and the peptide products one observes. NeuroProSightPTM is another important bioinformatics tool that identifies post-translational modifications in intact proteins from "top-down" data analysis of absolute masses. The top-down approach will enable investigators to use absolute masses of intact proteins to identify neuropeptides, cytokines, hormones, and other neuron-specific proteins and peptides. Lastly, a unique method of shot-gun peptidomics that combines bioinformatics tools and high accuracy mass measurements will enhance peptide characterization and identification, and will be used across a range of important neuroscience models. Together, the well-planned experiments, existing tools, and new bioinformatics capabilities will create novel approaches and new data on the intercellular signaling molecules found in the brain.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-RXL-E)
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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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