The purpose of this proposal is to establish a University of Washington Research Core facility that provides essential proteomics and bioinformatics infrastructure support for a large contingent of scientists interested in mapping protein-protein interactions in the nervous system. Many of these investigators conduct research involving disease genes and a defined analysis of their binding partners will help investigators to understand how alterations in these genes modulate neuronal and glial structure and function during the course of nervous system disease and injury. This research is clearly essential to the mission of the NINDS. Three research cores and one administrative core will provide support for the research programs and will stimulate interactions and collaborations among investigators. Core A, the molecular virology core, will provide a repository for all of the expression plasmids needed to tag proteins and map protein-protein interactions and validate binding interactions using a variety of biochemical methods. This core will also generate and titer lentivirus for each expression construct providing a valuable reagent for expressing tagged proteins in cells that are traditionally difficult to transfect. Core B, the mass spectrometry core, will provide mass spectrometry-based identification of protein complexes purified using the pull down techniques associated with the various tagged proteins generated in Core A. Core C, the bioinformatics core, will provide comprehensive analysis of protein sequence data, molecular interactions, pathways, biological structures, genetic maps, homology information, and functional annotations of proteins identified in the various pull down assays. The research cores will be supported by an administrative core that will oversee the operation of each research core, organize user meetings, steering committee meetings, organize an annual research symposium, provide clerical, fiscal and personnel support, and prepare reports to the funding agency.
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