Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ORNL invention unravels mystery of protein folding

15.09.2011
An Oak Ridge National Laboratory invention able to quickly predict three-dimensional structure of protein could have huge implications for drug discovery and human health.

While scientists have long studied protein structure and the mechanism of folding, this marks the first time they are able to computationally predict three-dimensional structure independent of size of the protein.

Because the invention also determines possible intermediate states in the protein folding process, it provides a clearer picture and could open doors to designing new medicines for neurodegenerative diseases that are caused by incorrectly folded proteins.

Pratul Agarwal, inventor of the method and a member of the Department of Energy lab's Computer Science and Mathematics Division, believes this new method will provide benefits in many areas.

"This finding is relevant to energy, climate and health, which are all of tremendous significance today," Agarwal said. "We expect this approach to have many industrial applications through protein engineering, for example, where we expect to be able to design more efficient enzymes."

Proteins often adopt a three-dimensional structure that allows them to carry out their designated function, but such a structure has provided a computationally challenging task. Using the fundamental insights of the protein structure, dynamics and function, the ORNL invention discloses a unique computational methodology to explore the conformational energy landscape of a protein.

"One of the main advantages of this approach is that it follows the natural intrinsic dynamics of the protein and by promoting the relevant dynamical modes allows rapid exploration of the folding pathway and prediction of the protein structure," Agarwal said.

In the area of drug development, Agarwal, a computational biophysicist, expects this discovery to help in the development of treatments with little or no side effects.

Funding for this research has been provided by the National Institutes of Health, Battelle Memorial Institute and the ORNL Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. Patent No. 7,983,887, "Fast computational methods for mechanism of protein folding and prediction of protein structure from primary sequence," was issued to Agarwal in July 2011.

This work is reflected in two recent papers published in PLoS ONE ("Discovering conformational sub-states relevant to protein function") and The Journal of Physical Chemistry B ("Redox-Promoting Protein Motions in Rubredoxin").

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE's Office of Science.

Ron Walli | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ornl.gov

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Treating arthritis with algae
23.08.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>