VIZ - A Graphical Open-Source Architecture for Use in Structural Bioinformatics

Ricardo M. CzeksterOsmar Norberto de Souza

Protein structure visualization is crucial for understanding its function inside the cell. Each year, laboratories around the world deposit protein structures on a central database for further analysis and research. The result is a large amount of structures being deposited (approximately 31,000 in may 2005). Visualization is a very powerful tool to help in the analysis, aiding data understanding and interpretation. The present work suggests an architecture to help the rapid construction of visual biomolecular software, specifically designed to be simple, modular and scalable. The architecture, called VIZ, employs high quality opensource libraries offering simple data structures and customizable options. The architecture can be used to start a new visual software project to visualize and represent individual protein structures, as well as multiple conformations from molecular dynamics simulation trajectories.

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