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Erratic proteins: New insights into a transport mechanism
Date:9/30/2013

echanism. The membrane protein is loosely embedded in the solid structure of Skp during transport and does not adopt on a defined spatial structure itself. "Amazingly, the unfolded protein changes its state constantly faster than thousand times per second and more than ten million times during the crossing," explained Hiller. "Only through employing modern nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, it has become possible to detect this dynamic behavior within Skp." Transporting the membrane protein in such a changing state does not require energy and allows for its rapid release at the destination.

Dynamic transport as a general principle

Although the structure of Skp has been known for a long time, the current study shows that the dynamics of the Skp-membrane protein complex is important for the formation of the outer membrane proteins. With the atomic resolution measurements, Hiller and his team were also able to uncover a general principle how proteins can be transported without requiring energy. In the future, the team of scientists wants to investigate further proteins that are involved in the transport and folding process.


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Contact: Olivia Poisson
olivia.poisson@unibas.ch
University of Basel
Source:Eurekalert

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