Navigation Links
Proteins behaving badly
Date:2/23/2012

San Diego, Calif. Several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) are caused when the body's own proteins fold incorrectly, recruit and convert healthy proteins to the misfolded form, and aggregate in large clumps that gum up the works of the nervous system. "For Star Trek fans, this is like the Borg, [a fictional race of cyborgs that abduct and assimilate humans and other species]," says Steven Plotkin, a biophysicist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver who studies the process of protein misfolding.

Plotkin's team has developed an algorithm that can predict which regions of a protein are prone to exposure upon misfolding, and how mutations in the protein and changes in the cellular environment might affect the stability of these vulnerable regions. These predictions help scientists gain a better understanding of protein dynamics, and may one day help in developing treatments to effectively combat currently incurable neurodegenerative diseases. The team will present its findings at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society (BPS), held Feb. 25-29 in San Diego, Calif.

The algorithm developed by Plotkin's group uses the energy equations of thermodynamics to calculate the likelihood that certain stretches of protein will be displayed when the protein misfolds. Since the exposed regions are specific to the misfolded version of the protein, researchers can use these regions as targets for diagnostic and therapeutic treatments. The algorithm can be adapted for different proteins and predicts several potential target regions for each protein. The group has used it to study neurodegenerative disease-causing proteins as well as misfolded proteins that have been implicated in some cancers.

More recently, the research group used computer simulations to manipulate proteins in a virtual environment, testing out how easy it is for mutated proteins to misfold and propagate. Using this tool has helped the team predict the progression of hereditary ALS disease.

"The fact that we can predict the lifetime of an individual diagnosed with hereditary ALS from simulations of a protein's mechanical properties is something that is both satisfying and that gives one pause," says Plotkin. "We hope that such information might give some clues as to how to develop effective therapies for this disease."

The presentation, "Template-directed protein misfolding in silico and in the cell," is at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in the San Diego Convention Center, Hall FGH. ABSTRACT: http://tinyurl.com/6pg3vbw


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen R. Weiss
eweiss@biophysics.org
240-290-5606
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. ORNL explores proteins in Yellowstone bacteria for biofuel inspiration
2. Faulty proteins may prove significant in identifying new treatments for ovarian cancer
3. Penn scientists pioneer new method for watching proteins fold
4. Lets do the twist: Spiral proteins are efficient gene delivery agents
5. Control by the matrix: RUB researchers decipher the role of proteins in the cell environment
6. Cellular processing of proteins found in Congolese child birthing tea now revealed
7. Targeted antibacterial proteins may offer antibiotic alternative
8. New technique enables study of challenging proteins
9. So many proteins, so much promise
10. Exercise before and during early pregnancy increases two beneficial proteins for mothers-to-be
11. Scientists discover the proteins that control development of varicose veins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/21/2017)... and PORTLAND, Ore. , Feb. ... the Avamere Family of Companies (Avamere Health Services, Infinity ... a six-month research study that will apply the power ... at senior living and health centers. By analyzing data ... to gain insights into physical and environmental conditions, and ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, a Dell ... designed to enhance fraud detection and investigation across ... RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. The new ... additional insights from internal and external sources as ... their customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Feb. 8, 2017 About Voice Recognition Biometrics ... match it against a stored voiceprint template. Acoustic ... cadence, and tone are compared to distinguish between ... installation, as most PCs already have a microphone ... Voice recognition biometrics are most likely to be ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... March 24, 2017 Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ("Sinovac" or the ... China , today announced that its board of directors ... of the plan from March 27, 2017 to March 27, 2018. The ... About Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ... Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is a ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... MA (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... “a viscoelastic material that exhibits both viscous and elastic characteristics when deformed, which ... disc polymer exhibits properties to gently absorb compressive forces and return to its ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017  SeraCare Life Sciences, Inc., a ... vitro diagnostics manufacturers and clinical laboratories, is ... multiplexed Inherited Cancer reference material ... next-generation sequencing (NGS). The Seraseq™ Inherited Cancer DNA ... from industry experts to validate the ability ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced the discovery and characterization of several ... interferon response factor 3 (IRF3) via RIG-I like ... in a murine colon carcinoma mouse model.  Furthermore, ... regression to initial drug treatment were resistant to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: