Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How much do we know ?

  1. Jul 6, 2005 #1
    The simplest cell is made up of I think 5000 proteins and an equivalent number of chemical reactions all interlaced and interacting. It is very complex, exactly how much do we know at this point of all these reactions and how they interact ? Thanks for any information.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    One place to start your research on this question is a little light
    reading of some books on biochemistry. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2005
  4. Jul 12, 2005 #3
    based upon human genome data, we have only identified around 12% of the proteins in the cell. we have only scratched the surface on understanding many biological processes.

    at the current rate, it will be several hundred years before all of the proteins in the cell have experimentally been determined.

    on the other hand, it seems unlikely that there would exist biomolecules vastly different than what we know of already (amino acids, sugars, etc.).

    the promise of proteomics is to identify and characterize the entire proteome rapidly through the use of technology. only time will tell if this occurs.
  5. Jul 12, 2005 #4
    To add more to the complexitiy of the "simplest" cell we must also take into account the fact that proteins are not the only biomolecules that contribute to the workings of the cell. Nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) have been shown to participate in enzymatic activity (ribozymes) as well as have roles in gene regulation.
  6. Jul 12, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The simplest organism has 536 predicted proteins.

    However, it is an obligate symbiont.

    the simplest non-obligate bacteria and archea would have between 1000 to 2000 predicted proteins. These organisms have a restricted metabolism and narrow range of ecological niche.

    In other hand, bacteria with more than 4000 (E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are good example) will have a more complex and wider array of metabolism. These also can occupy a wide range of ecological niche.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook