How Bioinformatics can change your life

Basic Concepts of Bioinformatics
M. Alroy Mascrenghe
MBCS, MIEEE, MIT A lecture given for the BCS Wolerhampton Branch at the University of Wolverhampton


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Introduction Basic concepts in Molecular biology Bioinformatics techniques Areas in bioinformatics Applications Related Computer Technology Conference in Glasgow Acknowledgements Reference
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A Major event happened that was to change the course of human history It was a joint British and American effort nothing to do with IRAQ! It was a race – who will complete first Race Test – not whether they have taken drugs but whether they can produce them! Human genome was sequenced
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A Situ…somewhere in the near future
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A virus –not ‘I love you’ virus- creates an epidemic Geneticists and bioinformaticians role on their sleeves Genetic material of the virus is compared with the existing base of known genetic material of other viruses As the characteristics of the other viruses are known From genetic material computer programs will derive the proteins necessary for the survival of the virus When the protein (sequence and structure) is known then medicines can be designed

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What is  The marriage between computer science and molecular biology  The algorithm and techniques of computer science are being used to solve the problems faced by molecular biologists  ‘Information technology applied to the management and analysis of biological data’  Storage and Analysis are two of the important functions – bioinformaticians build tools for each M.Alroy Mascrenghe 6 .

Biology Chemistry Computer Science Statistics Bioinformatics M.Alroy Mascrenghe 7 .

.     This is the age of the Information Technology However storing info is nothing new Information to the volume of Britannica Encyclopedia is stored in each of our cells ‘Bioinformatics tries to determine what info is biologically important’ M.Alroy Mascrenghe 8 .What is.

Basics of Molecular Biology…. M.Alroy Mascrenghe 9 .

a gene for blond hair etc    Genes contain the information as a sequence of nucleotides Genes are abstract concepts – like longitude and latitudes in the sense that you cannot see them separately Genes are made up of nucleotides M.e.DNA & Genes    DNA is where the genetic information is stored Blonde hair and blue eyes are inherited by this Gene .Alroy Mascrenghe 10 .The basic unit of heredity  There are genes for characteristics i.

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Nucleotide (nt)  Each nt I made up of    Sugar Phospate group Base      The base it (nt) contains makes the only difference between one nt and the other There are 4 different bases  G(uanine).T(hymine).A(denine).Alroy Mascrenghe 12 .C(ytosine) The information is in the order of nucleotide and the order is the info Genes can be many thousands of nt long The complete set of genetic instructions is called genomes M.

nt  Sentences – genes  Individual volumes of Britannica encyclopedia – chromosomes  All voles together .Chromosomes   DNA strings make chromosomes Analogy Letters .Genome  M.Alroy Mascrenghe 13 .

Alroy Mascrenghe 14 .Double Helix     The DNA is a double helix Each strand has complementary information Each particular base in one strand is bonded with another particular base in the next strand  G-C  A-T For example  AATGC one strand  TTACG other strand M.

Alroy Mascrenghe 15 .Proteins  Proteins are very important biological feature Amino Acids make up the proteins 20 different amino acids are there The function of a protein is dependant on the order of the amino acids    M.

DNA Information Transfer – RNA RNA is the message boy! M.Alroy Mascrenghe 16 .Proteins…         The information required to make aa is stored in DNA DNA sequence determines amino acid sequence Amino Acid sequence determines protein structure Protein structure determines protein function A Substance called RNA is used to carry the Info stored in the DNA that in turn is used to make proteins Storage .

Alroy Mascrenghe 17 .Central dogma DNA transcription RNA Polymerase RNA Translation Ribosomes Protein M.

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.Proteins…. UAG.Alroy Mascrenghe 19 . UGA Some codons are used as start codons . neither can it correspond as twos So in triplet codes – codon – protein information is carried The codons that do not correspond to a protein are stop codons – UAA.AUG as well as to code methionine (RNA has U instead of T) M.     Since there are 20 amino acids to translate one nt cannot correspond to one aa.

Alroy Mascrenghe goes through some changes to its structure .Protein Structure        Shows a wide variety as opposed to the DNA whose structure is uniform X-ray crystallography or Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is used to figure out the structure Structure is related to the function or rather structure determines the function Although proteins are created as a linear structure of aa chain they fold into 3 d structure. If you stretch them and leave them they will go back to this structure – this is the native structure of a protein Only in the native structure the proteins functions well Even after the translation is over protein 20 M.

Alroy Mascrenghe 21 .Gene Expression       Gene Expression – the process of Transcripting a DNA and translating a RNA to make protein Where do the genes begin in a chromosome? How does the RNA identify the beginning of a gene to make a protein A single nt cannot be taken to point out the beginning of a gene as they occur frequently But a particular combination of a nucleotide can be Promoter sequences – the order of nt which mark the beginning of a gene M.

Alroy Mascrenghe 22 .Bioinformatics Techniques….. M.

Alroy Mascrenghe 23  Prediction  .Prediction and Pattern Recognition   The two main areas of bioinformatics are Pattern recognition  ‘A particular sequence or structure has been seen before’ and that a particular characteristic can be associated with it From a sequence (what we know) we can predict the structure and function (what we don’t know) M.

   Simple way of evaluating similarity between two sequences In a graph one sequence is on one side the next on the other side Where there are matches between the two sequences the graph is marked M.Alroy Mascrenghe 24 .Dot plots….

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Alroy Mascrenghe 26 .     So which one do we choose and on what basis? Solution is to Provide a match score and mismatch score M.Alignments   A match for similarity between the characters of two or more sequences Eg.   TTACTATA TAGATA  There are so many ways to align the above two sequences  1.    3.   TTACTATA TAGATA TTACTATA TAGATA TTACTATA TAGATA  2.

Alroy Mascrenghe 27 .Gaps  Introduce gaps and a penalty score for gaps TTACTATA  T_A_GATA  In gap scores a single indel which is two characters long is preferred to two indels which are each one character long   However not all gaps are bad       TTGCAATCT CAA How do we align? ---CAA--These gaps are not biologically significant Semi Global Alignments M.

Scoring Matrix     For DNA/protein sequence alignment we create a matrix If A and A score is 1 If A and T score is -5 If A and C score is -1 M.Alroy Mascrenghe 28 .

Alroy Mascrenghe 29 .Dynamic Programming     As the length of the query sequences increase and the difference of length between the two sequence also increases –more gaps has to be inserted in various places We cannot perform an exhaustive search Combinatorial explosion occurs – too much combinations to search for Dynamic programming is a way of using heuristics to search in the most promising path M.

Alroy Mascrenghe 30 .Databases      Sequence info is stored in databases So that they can be manipulated easily The db (next slide) are located at diff places They exchange info on a daily basis so that they are up-to-date and are in sync Primary db – sequence data M.

Major Primary DB Nucleic Acid EMBL (Europe) Protein PIR Protein Information Resource MIPS SWISS-PROT University of Geneva. now with EBI TrEMBL A supplement to SWISSPROT NRL-3D GenBank (USA) DDBJ (Japan) .

Alroy Mascrenghe 32 .Composite DB    As there are many db which one to search? Some are good in some aspects and weak in others? Composite db is the answer – which has several db for its base data Search on these db is indexed and streamlined so that the same stored sequence is not searched twice in different db M.

Composite DB  OWL has these as their primary db SWISS PROT (top priority)  PIR  GenBank  NRL-3D  M.Alroy Mascrenghe 33 .

Alroy Mascrenghe .Secondary db  Store secondary structure info or results of searches of the primary db Compo Primary DB Source PROSITE SWISS-PROT PRINTS OWL 34 M.

Alroy Mascrenghe 35 .Database Searches      We have sequenced and identified genes. M. Since there are large number of databases we cannot do sequence alignment for each and every sequence So heuristics must be used again. So we know what they do The sequences are stored in databases So if we find a new gene in the human genome we compare it with the already found genes which are stored in the databases.

Alroy Mascrenghe 36 .Areas in Bioinformatics… M.

All the information for a liver cell to be a liver cell is also present on nose cell.e. each cell type does gene expression in a different way –although each cell has the same content as far as the genetic i. so gene expression is the only thing that differentiates M.Alroy Mascrenghe 37 .Genomics   Because of the multicellular structure.

Finding Genes      Gene in sequence data – needle in a haystack However as the needle is different from the haystack genes are not diff from the rest of the sequence data Is whole array of nt we try to find and border mark a set o nt as a gene This is one of the challenges of bioinformatics Neural networks and dynamic programming are being employed M.Alroy Mascrenghe 38 .Genomics .

241 Fruit Flies Homo Sapiens 180 3.000 http://genomewww.601 http://www.n lm.ed u/Saccharomyce s Genome Gene Size Number (Mb) bp * 1.000 Web Site Yeast 13. me/guide .5 6.000 13.

Proteomics   Proteome is the sum total of an organisms proteins More difficult than genomics    4 Simple chemical makeup Can duplicate 20 complex can’t   We are entering into the ‘post genome era’ Meaning much has been done with the Genes – not that it’s a over M.Alroy Mascrenghe 40 .

.      The relationship between the RNA and the protein it codes are usually very different After translation proteins do change  So aa sequence do not tell anything about the post translation changes Proteins are not active until they are combined into a larger complex or moved to a relevant location inside or outside the cell So aa only hint in these things Also proteins must be handled more carefully in labs as they tend to change when in touch with an inappropriate material M.Proteomics….Alroy Mascrenghe 41 .

Alroy Mascrenghe 42 . biochemistry No algorithm is there now to consistently predict the structure of proteins M.Protein Structure Prediction   Is one of the biggest challenges of bioinformatics and esp.

Alroy Mascrenghe 43 .Structure Prediction methods  Comparative Modeling Target proteins structure is compared with related proteins  Proteins with similar sequences are searched for structures  M.

Alroy Mascrenghe 44 .Phylogenetics      The taxonomical system reflects evolutionary relationships Phylogenetics trees are things which reflect the evolutionary relationship thru a picture/graph Rooted trees where there is only one ancestor Un rooted trees just showing the relationship Phylogenetic tree reconstruction algorithms are also an area of research M.

Applications…. M.Alroy Mascrenghe 45 .

Alroy Mascrenghe 46 .Medical Implications   Pharmacogenomics  Not all drugs work on all patients.g: Insulin and Factor VIII or Haemophilia  BioWeapons (??) M. some good drugs cause death in some patients  So by doing a gene analysis before the treatment the offensive drugs can be avoided  Also drugs which cause death to most can be used on a minority to whose genes that drug is well suited – volunteers wanted!  Customized treatment Gene Therapy  Replace or supply the defective or missing gene  E.

personality changes and intellectual impairment Death in 10-15 years The gene responsible for the disease has been identified Contains excessively repeated sections of CAG So once analyzed the couple can be counseled M. mental disturbance.Diagnosis of Disease       Diagnosis of disease  Identification of genes which cause the disease will help detect disease at early stage e.g.Alroy Mascrenghe 47 . Huntington disease Symptoms – uncontrollable dance like movements.

Alroy Mascrenghe 48  Testing .Drug Design    Can go up to 15yrs and $700million One of the goals of bioinformatics is to reduce the time and cost involved with it. The process  Discovery  Computational methods can improves this M.

e.Discovery Target identification     Identifying the molecule on which the germs relies for its survival Then we develop another molecule i. drug which will bind to the target So the germ will not be able to interact with the target.Alroy Mascrenghe 49 . Proteins are the most common targets M.

Discovery…    For example HIV produces HIV protease which is a protein and which in turn eat other proteins This HIV protease has an active site where it binds to other molecules So HIV drug will go and bind with that active site  Easily said than done! M.Alroy Mascrenghe 50 .

Alroy Mascrenghe 51 .Discovery…    Lead compounds are the molecules that go and bind to the target protein’s active site Traditionally this has been a trial and error method Now this is being moved into the realm of computers M.

Related Computer Technology………….Alroy Mascrenghe 52 . M.

even web service support http://bio.Alroy Mascrenghe 53 .org M.PERL      Perl is commonly used for bioinformatics calculations as its ability to manipulate character symbols The default CGI language It started out as a scripting language but has become a fully fledged language IT has everything now.perl.

languages etc So web services helps achieve platform independence and program interaction Since sequence data bases are in various formats.The place of XML & Web Services        Various markup languages are being created – Gene Markup language etc to represent sequence/gene data Web Services – program to program interaction. making the web application centric as opposed to human centric So this has to platform language independent Protocols like SOAP help in this regard In bioinformatics various databases are being used.Alroy Mascrenghe 54 . different platforms. platforms SOAP also helps in this regards M.

new kid on the block Using many computers to fulfill a single computational tasks Bioinformatics is the ideal platform as it has to deal with a large amount of data in alignment and searches E-science initiative in the UK ORACLE 10g – the worlds first GRID database M.The place of GRID      GRID .Alroy Mascrenghe 55 .

Alroy Mascrenghe 56 .Data bases and Mining    Lot of the sequence databases are available publicly As there is a DB involved various data mining techniques are used to pull the data out As there is a lot of literature – articles etc – on this area a data mining on the literature – not on the sequence data has also become a PhD topic for many M.

European Molecular Biology Network (EMBnet)     A central system for wser/embnet/ UCL   EBI – European Bioinformatics Institute  Mascrenghe 57 . training and centralizing up to date bio info Some of the EMBnet sites are: SQENET 

J. Parry-Smith  Intro to Bioinformatics The genetic Revolution  Dr Patrick Dixon  Prof David Gilbert’s Site  M.brc. Raymer  Basic Concepts of Bioinformatics Arthur M Lesk  Intro to Bioinformatics T.Alroy Mascrenghe 58 .gla.dcs.References     Dan E. Krane and Michael Attwood & D.

Alroy Mascrenghe 59 .Thank You! M.