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.
Drs. Peter Bayer and Jonathan W. Mueller, phone +49-201/183-4676, email@example.com, www.uni-due.de/biochemie
Editorial office: Beate H. Kostka, Tel. 0203/379-2430
New insight into a central biological dogma on ion transport
26.06.2017 | Aarhus University
UK chemistry researchers develop catalyst that mimics the z-scheme of photosynthesis
26.06.2017 | University of Kentucky
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Health and Medicine