Future development

High-throughput functional characterisation of proteins and their regulation is becoming a reality through automation (e.g. multichannel patch clamp (Wang and Li, 2003) or TEVC for X. laevis oocytes (Schnizler et al., 2003)). The use of complex computer-based algorithms has already been used for multiple transport-associated processes (e.g. simulating the molecular dynamics of channel gating; Tornroth-Horsefield et al., 2006). However, it is becoming apparent that the signalling networks that regulate many transport processes, when integrated into the physiological framework of a functional cell (or plant), are too complex to comprehend without an iterative exchange between computer modelling and experimentation. It is therefore likely that computer-based modelling will be combined with experimental data with increasing frequency in the near future.

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