There are many kinds of interactions; however, the most complicated to study from the perspective of structural biology are those which are transient. This type of interaction is brief and occurs through a large section of the protein surface- the globular domain -, and a very small section of the surface of another proteins, the so-called lineal motif or peptide.
The difficulty lies in the fact that these relations are of short duration and there are few crystallized peptide structures. Researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have performed the first computational analysis of transient interactions between proteins in order to reveal what determines their recognition as ideal partners and have unveiled part of the molecular mechanisms involved in the specificity of this binding. The results of this study have been published in the scientific journal PLoS One.
“Knowing what determines protein-protein binding may have implications, for example, in the design of new drugs”, explains Patrick Aloy, ICREA research professor at IRB Barcelona, “however, we currently know very little about this type of binding”. These kinds of interactions occur mainly between proteins involved in signalling pathways and regulatory networks, and they serve to translate and transmit extracellular signals to the cell nucleus.
The contextual residues are amino acids that are found in nearby regions of the lineal motif but do not form part of it. “The binding strength between two proteins is determined by contacts found in the lineal motif but it is the contextual residues that hold information about the most suitable proteins, thereby preventing undesirable binding between similar proteins”, explains Amelie Stein, a pre-doctoral student with Aloy’s lab and first author of the article.
The analysis performed by the researchers has also revealed that in certain conditions non native interactions may occur, that is to say, interactions with other proteins that are not optimum. “This is what we refer to as complementary partners, other interaction proteins that can compensate for the lack of the ideal protein”, explains Stein. According to the researchers, these non-optimum interactions allow the establishment of emergency circuits that increase the strength of cellular networks. Specifically, one line of research derived from the study by Aloy and Stein focuses on the identification of proteins unable to establish safety circuits and therefore with a good chance of becoming future therapeutic targets.
Sonia Armengou | alfa
North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich
Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences