Science of Collaboratories logo - link
An alliance to advance the understanding of collaboratories
Science of Collaboratories

Return to the list of Collaboratory Projects


Name of Collaboratory :


Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics (CESG)


Logo :


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 2000 End Date : Info Last Updated : Sun, Dec 5 2010 1:00am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Distributed Research Center  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :

  Community Data Systems  

Domain(s) :

  BIOLOGICAL/AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES >Biological Sciences >Structural Genomics  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


The Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics (CESG) is a specialized research center supported by the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

PSI is a federal, university, and industry effort aimed at dramatically reducing the costs and lessening the time it takes to determine a three-dimensional protein structure. The long-range goal of PSI is to solve 10,000 protein structures in 10 years and to make the three-dimensional atomic-level structures of most proteins easily obtainable from knowledge of their corresponding DNA sequences.

CESG is located within the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI) and the Department of Biochemistry at the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI). CESG develops new methods and technologies to address unique eukaryotic bottlenecks and disseminates its methodologies and experimental results to the scientific community worldwide through:

Cell-Free Protein Production Workshops
Plasmids at PSI Materials Repository
Posters Presented at Scientific Meetings
Publications in PubMed / PubMed Central
Sesame (LIMS) Available for Researchers
Solved Structures in the Protein Data Bank
Technology Dissemination Reports

They have welcomed requests by researchers to solve eukaryotic protein structures, particularly medically relevant proteins, through their Online Structure Request System for Researchers. They have solved many community-nominated targets and deposited information about these targets in public databases and published on their investigations and findings.

All of CESG's experimental results, corresponding protocols, and publications are deposited into the major online repositories and databases.

CESG is organized into eight functional teams, each focused on fundamental aspects of the project. A PI or co-Investigator is responsible for the overall operation of each team; however, within each team, a PhD level scientist or an experienced administrator (Team Leader) is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the team and assists with long-range planning. CESG tracks expenses by functional teams: administration, cloning, small-scale expression testing, large-scale E. coli production and purification, quality assurance, cell-free protein production, X-ray crystallography, and NMR spectroscopy. Multiple sections may be in one team (cloning, small-scale expression testing, large-scale protein production, and cell-free sections make up the Protein Production Research Team). This has enabled the center to quantify supplies and labor costs for activities associated with each section.


The Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics (CESG) was founded as a collaborative effort to develop critical technologies for determining three-dimensional structures of proteins rapidly and economically. CESGís primary goal is to extend knowledge of fold-function space. CESGís initial focus is on the genome of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. CESGís software periodically analyzes and ranks the entire proteome, consisting of over 25,000 open reading frames, to determine target priority. The top targets meeting selection criteria are carried forward through a defined strategy leading to structure determination by either X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy. All completed structures and supporting data are deposited in timely fashion in publicly accessible databases. CESGís ëSesame Project Management Systemí is being developed to track, evaluate, and eventually control all steps in this process. Progress at CESG is tracked at the Structural Genomics web site at PDB. Technology and products developed by CESG are made available to the structural genomics community.

The CESG is sub-divided into 7 focus areas, each responsible for one core component of the project.

goals: Develop the methodologies and technology necessary for high-throughput, genome scale, eukaryotic protein production, characterization and structure determination, focusing on proteins from Arabidopsis.

The Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics is a collaborative effort to elucidate the three-dimensional structure of many of the proteins encoded by the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. Starting with characterized cDNA clones, recombinant protein is produced and subsequently purified. The three dimensional structure of the proteins is then determined via either X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). All solved structures will be promptly placed in public databases including the Protein Data Bank (PDB) and BioMagResBank (BMRB).

Requests to solve specific Arabidopsis protein structures are currently being accepted. While the primary mission of the CESG is to develop new methodology and technology to facilitate high throughput structure determination, this project presents a unique opportunity to further biological research through the determination of the 3-dimensional structure of biologically important proteins in Arabidopsis.

All data collected by the CESG are being organized by the Sesame Laboratory Management System.

The CESG is primarily located in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other partners include the Medical College of Wisconsin, Molecular Kinetics, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hebrew University., 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals and Ehime University.


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :

  web-based LIMS system  

Access to People as Resources :

  The CESG Executive Committee (the PI, co-PIs, Bioinformatics/Crystallography Team Leader, and Project Manager) coordinates the activities of the teams, provides scientific direction, and sets long-term goals and strategies of the project. This group meets weekly in Madison to discuss agenda items, share news of recent conferences, review outside requests, authorize the creation of work groups, and surface any new concerns. One member attends from Milwaukee via videoconferencing. Directions and initiatives from this committee are communicated to the functional teams by the investigator at the team meetings. Overall project progress and goals are shared at All-Hands meetings which are held on a quarterly basis.  

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

United States Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:

Organizations with Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (3DP)
Former collaborating institution
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
   Biosciences Division (Argonne)
Collaborating institution
Indiana University
   Indiana University School of Medicine
      Center for Computational Biology and and Bioinformatics (Indiana University)
Collaborating institution
Ehime University
Collaborating institution
Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)
Former collaborating institution
Molecular Kinetics, Inc.
Former collaborating institution
National Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF)
Collaborating institution
Tokyo Metropolitan University
Collaborating institution
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Primary institution
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Primary institution

Notes on Participants/Organizations:
The majority of CESG’s co-investigators and employees are located in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Communications Technology Used :

  The only CESG consortium partner is at the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI); members of this group participate in CESG meetings by video conferencing and visit Madison to attend important meetings.

video conferenceing,
web-based LIMS system,

Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

  They claim they are better able to leverage expertise of dispersed partners, however it is unclear how this was exactly done.  
  Home | About SOC | Workshops | Resources | News & Events  

University of California, Irvine Logo

University of California, Irvine

School of Information Logo

School of Information University of Michigan