Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The dynamic personalities of proteins reveal key traits

03.11.2005


A new window opens on structure and function of enzymes




A Brandeis University study published in Nature this week advances fundamental understanding of the dynamic personalities of proteins and proposes that these enzymes are much more mobile, or plastic, than previously thought. The research, based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments, may shed new light on how to improve rational drug design through docking to dynamic targets.

For the first time ever, the study linked both the low-energy as well as the much rarer high-energy state of enzymes to their function, said lead author Brandeis biophysicist Dorothee Kern, who is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


This is important because drugs seek to bind, or dock, to target enzymes in the infrequent high-energy state. Kern believes the study brings scientists a step closer to a new area of research that seeks to elucidate the structures of enzymes in high-energy states that can be ultimately used for rational drug design.

"This research shifts the paradigm of how we thought proteins work. The traditional view is that proteins are not terribly dynamic when they do not perform their function, and that they become dynamic only during catalysis, their active state. What we have learned now is that there is no resting state, that even in the absence of substrates, before catalysis, defined motions of many atoms is an intrinsic property of these enzymes," explained Kern.

"Much like a rousing basketball game – in which all the players continuously but strategically move with or without the ball – nature has evolved these biomolecules so that they are constantly moving in highly-defined directions conducive to their function with or without the substrate," explained Kern, who played for the East German National basketball team before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and later professional basketball for united Germany.

The research involved NMR studies of the enzyme cyclophilin A, a highly conserved protein found in all organisms from yeast to the human body, and which is involved in HIV replication in humans. Elucidating the role that cyclophilin A plays in the body would be a major step toward creating drugs that impede its virulence, without interfering with normal cellular function.

Kern summed up: "The fundamental principal of life is that molecules constantly change over time –that is the definition of dynamics."

Laura Gardner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.brandeis.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

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

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>