Navigation Links
Conserved amino acids play both structural and mechanistic roles in sandwich-like protein

The question of whether amino acids in sandwich-like proteins are there to stabilize the structure or to speed up the protein-folding process is best answered by "all of the above," according to researchers at Rice University in Houston.

This discovery, reported in today's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could benefit future research on treatments for diseases related to misfolded proteins, such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's.

The Rice scientists studied azurin ?a copper-containing protein essential to electron transfer. Azurin is part of a group of proteins that fold into a sandwich-like structure consisting of two sheets of amino acids meshed together. Nearly 70 superfamilies of proteins of varying makeup have this sandwich-like structure, but they all have eight particular amino acids in common. Previous studies had shown that these eight amino acids were important to define the sandwich-like structure, but the exact role was unknown.

"Why are these eight amino acids invariant across all sandwich-like proteins?" asked principal investigator Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, associate professor of biochemistry and cell biology. "Are they conserved to direct the protein-folding reaction, or are they selected to stabilize the final protein structure? In our paper, we unravel an unprecedented answer to this question."

Wittung-Stafshede and graduate student Corey Wilson analyzed the purpose of six of the eight amino acids by exchanging a nonessential amino acid for each of them and monitoring the effect on the protein structure. (For technical reasons, the other two amino acids could not be studied.) The researchers found that three of the amino acids are important for stabilizing the final structure of the protein, and three serve to direct the process of protein folding.

"We directly demonstrated that in one protein within the large sandwich-like protein family, evolution has indeed preserved amino acid s for mechanical reasons," Wittung-Stafshede said. "We believe that our discovery is novel and that it gives important new insight into the interplay between protein evolution, structure and folding."

The researchers speculate that their conclusions about the azurin protein apply to most members of the sandwich-like protein family, but testing on other specific proteins must confirm that.

"Better understanding of protein folding is crucial for curing human diseases directly related to misfolding of proteins, and it is also important for the design and improvement of therapeutic enzymes," Wittung-Stafshede said.


'"/>

Source:Rice University


Related biology news :

1. New technique helps researchers determine amino-acid charge
2. Use of amino acid supplement following a heart attack provides no benefit, may be harmful
3. Changes in amino acids in the 1918 influenza virus cut transmission
4. Amino acids in nectar enhance butterfly fecundity: A long awaited link
5. Researchers create pigs that produce heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
6. A new window into structural plasticity in the adult visual cortex
7. Meditation associated with structural changes in brain
8. New technology used to construct the first map of structural variation in the human genome
9. Researchers image molecular motor structural changes
10. Scripps research study reveals structural dynamics of single prion molecules
11. Flies on speed offer insight into the roles of dopamine in sleep and arousal
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/21/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... been appointed to the new role of principal ... has been named the director of customer development. ... , NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect ... development teams in response to high customer demand ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety ... France during the major tournament Teleste, ... communications systems and services, announced today that its video security ... to back up public safety across the country. ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 Perimeter ... Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  ... visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the global ... market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. ... DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware technologies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled ... cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous ... (CTCs). The new test has already been incorporated ... multiple cancer types. Over 230 clinical ... response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 ... for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, doctors ... being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells derived from ... frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to the swelling ...
Breaking Biology Technology: