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Unprecedented view of protein folding may help develop brain disease therapies
Date:3/15/2011

, the loops might move to somehow "shave off" the protein and release it into the folding chamber. One of her students made mutations in the loop. When the researchers did experiments in which TRiC chaperonins equipped with mutated loops were closed, the protein stayed put. It also failed to fold.

"That suggests that the way this chaperonin folds its proteins is by releasing them in a closed chamber that has very special chemical properties," Frydman said.

"This mechanism of release is completely different from what has been seen in any other chaperone. That was very, very surprising."

The experimental work described in the Cell paper was done using a simpler version of TRiC, from a single-celled organism, than would be found in multi-cellular organisms, Frydman said, because the simpler version is much easier to manipulate.

"Now we are interested in going back to the eukaryotic [multi-cellular] complex, where every binding site in the folding chamber is different and every release loop is different," Frydman said. "I think this really opens up a lot of interesting avenues to explore how this works in higher organisms. Since TRiC helps fold many disease-linked proteins, and is central to protect cells from misfolding diseases such as Huntington's disease, this work could have many therapeutic applications."


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Contact: Louis Bergeron
louisb3@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert  

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