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Proteins pack tighter in crowded native state
Date:11/12/2007

of proteins in cells and the structures of enzyme active sites in vivo. We are now beginning to assess the magnitude of these issues in the lab."

Proteins are the workhorses of biology, and their form and function are intertwined. Proteins are chains of amino acids strung end-to-end like beads on a necklace. The order comes from DNA blueprints, but proteins fold into a 3-D shape as soon as the chain is complete, and scientists can determine a protein's function only by studying its folded shape. It is still an open question how a long floppy chain of amino acids is programmed to adopt a unique 3-D shape in a timely manner (often seconds to minutes).

The science of protein folding has grown dramatically in the past decade, due in part to the discovery that misfolded proteins play key roles in diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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