Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U of T research answers key question in biochemistry

29.07.2004


Characterize intermediates at atomic level



University of Toronto scientists are helping to answer one of the most important questions in biochemistry, one that has implications for treating neurodegenerative diseases: how do proteins fold into their three-dimensional structures?
In research published in the July 29 issue of Nature, U of T post-doctoral fellow Dmitry Korzhnev and his supervisor, Professor Lewis Kay of the Department of Biochemistry, become the first researchers to characterize at an atomic level of detail the intermediate -- or substructure -- that forms as a protein folds to its 3-D state.

"Understanding how proteins fold is one of the Holy Grails of biochemistry," says Kay. "The intermediates that we can study make up only one or two per cent of the population of protein molecules in solution. It’s hard to study them because they are present at such low levels. This is the first time we have been able to characterize an intermediate state at this level of detail."



Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, the researchers obtained data that allowed them to develop crude pictures of intermediate states for small, fairly simple proteins. They hope to refine their methods and apply them to other systems with intermediate states.

If scientists can understand the pathway a protein takes from one state to another, they may be able to predict protein structure, something that can’t be done very reliably at present. The ability to accurately predict protein structure has implications for drug design, as well as for improving commercial products.

Understanding the pathway a protein follows will also help scientists understand errors in folding, a problem linked to diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s.

Lewis Kay | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells
12.12.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Smelling the forest – not the trees
12.12.2018 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

How skin cells protect themselves against stress

12.12.2018 | Life Sciences

Copper compound as promising quantum computing unit

12.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New approach towards an improved treatment of anxiety disorders

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>