Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


How to fold proteins?

For parvulins, one group of folding helper enzymes, new answers are at hand given by scientists from the Centre for Medical Biotechnology (ZMB) of University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), Germany. Drs Peter Bayer and Jonathan W Mueller succeeded in visualising single hydrogen atoms within the core of highly diffracting crystals of the parvulin protein Par14.

Proteins are among the most important building blocks of life. To function properly within the body, their amino acid sequence needs to be folded into a defined three-dimensional structure within each cell. When this highly complex folding process fails, severe diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s can be the consequences.

For a long time, biomedical researchers tried to understand how folding proceeds in detail. One of these questions was how folding helper enzymes work. For parvulins at least, one group of folding helper enzymes, new answers are at hand given by scientists from the Centre for Medical Biotechnology (ZMB) of University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), Germany. Drs Peter Bayer and Jonathan W Mueller succeeded in visualising single hydrogen atoms within the core of highly diffracting crystals of the parvulin protein Par14. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Among others, folding helper enzymes of the parvulin type are responsible to fold and maintain proteins in their native three-dimensional structure. Though profound knowledge exists on structure and mechanism of these enzymes, the role of individual amino acids in the catalytic core of parvulins remained unknown to date.

Hydrogen atoms are extremely small and hence normally invisible to the X-ray eye when investigating proteins. Within the core of the protein Par14, however, they could be visualised in corporation with scientists from University of Bayreuth.

„This has helped us enormously. We could realise an intricate network of hydrogen bonds that connects different amino acids within the core of the protein,” Dr. Mueller says. If one of these amino acids is replaced by another protein building block, catalytic activity nearly completely vanishes. This is first proof that an extended network of hydrogen bonds is a central feature of parvulin-type folding helper enzymes.

Further information:

Drs. Peter Bayer and Jonathan W. Mueller, phone +49-201/183-4676,,

Editorial office: Beate H. Kostka, Tel. 0203/379-2430

Beate Kostka | idw
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>