It has been
a dream that theoretical biology can be extensively applied in experimental
biology to accelerate the understanding of the sophiscated movements in
living organisms. A brave assay and an excellent example were represented by
enzymology, in which the well-established physico-chemistry is used to
describe, to fit, to predict and to improve enzyme reactions. Before the modern
bioinformatics, the developments of the combination of theoretical biology
and experimental biology have been mainly limited to various classic
formulations. The systematic use of graphic rules by Prof. Kuo-Chen Chou and
his co-workers has significantly facilitated to deal with complicated enzyme
systems. With the recent fast progress of bioinformatics, prediction of
protein structures and various protein attributes have been well established by
Chou and co-workers, stimulating the experimental
biology. For example, their recent method for predicting protein
subcellular localization (one of the important attributes of proteins) has been
extensively applied by scientific
colleagues, yielding many new results with thousands of citations. The
research by Prof. Chou is characterized by introducing novel physical concepts as
well as powerful and elegant mathematical
methods into important biomedical problems, a focus throughout his
career, even when facing enormous difficulties. His efforts in 50 years have
greatly helped us to realize the dream to make “theoretical and experimental
biology in one”. Prof. Richard Giege is well known for his multi-disciplinary
research combining physics, chemistry, enzymology and molecular biology. His
major focus of study is on the identity of tRNAs and their interactions with aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases(aaRS),
which are of critical importance to the fidelity of protein biosynthesis. He and
his colleagues have carried out the first crystallization of a tRNA/aaRS complex, that between tRNAAspand
AspRS from yeast. The determination of the complex structure contributed
significantly to under- stand the interaction of protein and RNA. From his fine
research, they have also found other biological function of these small RNAs.
He has developed in parallel appropriate methods for his research, of which the
protein crystallogenesis, a name he has coined, is an excellent example. Now
macromolecular crystallogenesis has become a developed science. In fact, such
contribution has accelerated the development
of protein crystallography, stimulating the study of macromolecular
structure and function.
Cite this paper
Lin, S. and Lapointe, J. (2013) Theoretical and experimental biology in one —A symposium in honour of Professor Kuo-Chen Chou’s 50th anniversary and Professor Richard Giegé’s 40th anniversary of their scientific careers. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 6, 435-442. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2013.64054.
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