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:8/15/2017)...   ivWatch LLC , a medical device company focused on ... receipt of its ISO 13485 Certification, the global standard for medical ... Standardization (ISO®). ... Continuous Monitoring device for the early detection of IV infiltrations. ... "This is an important milestone for ivWatch, as ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... IBM ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy ... combined with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances ... breaches. With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell ... the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ... of online age and identity verification solutions, announced today ... Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, ... Building and International Trade Center. Identity ... globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... Poway, California (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... afternoon speaking at his local San Diego Rotary Club. The event ... San Diego, CA and had 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt of ... develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the first ... (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. The ... to accelerate development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program ... honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and ... 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics ... at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people ... to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources ...
Breaking Biology Technology: