The average is 300 long…and titin has 34’350 ! Talk about comparing the weight of an elephant with a human!
Every time we jump or run, titin works hard in our muscle. Titin is very long and flexible, and helps to preserve the architecture of muscle , which are severely tested by repeated contracting and stretching.
The gigantic proportions of titin were problematic for bioinformaticians. Why? When scientists decided to establish its ‘virtual portrait’, the existing computer programs couldn’t deal with the’s size simply because they had been conceived to analyse “standard-sized” . And when titin was introduced, the computers just crashed!
What is the point of establishing the virtual portrait of a? Well, it gives scientists an idea of a ’s role in an organism, for instance. As is the case for any virtual portrait, a ’s is hypothetical and has to be checked by a researcher in the laboratory.
A’s virtual portrait gives an estimate of the ’s weight and lifespan in a . It can also predict the ’s shape, possible interactions it may have with other , or even identify specific regions, such as which are repeated. These are all important clues that help scientists orientate their research. In the case of titin, the computer programs determined a region which was repeated 6 x 22 times! This particular region has a precise : it binds to other that are essential for muscle contraction.