Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Untangling The Protein Folding Problem

Date:
November 18, 1998
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are gaining ground in their effort to solve the long-standing "protein folding problem" -- deciphering the elusive chemical code that determines the three-dimensional structure of proteins. The ability to predict the final folded form of a protein will advance efforts to design new drugs and decode genetic information obtained from the Human Genome Project, among other things.

Scientists are gaining ground in their effort to solve the long-standing "protein folding problem" -- deciphering the elusive chemical code that determines the three-dimensional structure of proteins. The ability to predict the final folded form of a protein will advance efforts to design new drugs and decode genetic information obtained from the Human Genome Project, among other things.

Related Articles


The latest efforts toward unraveling the mysteries of protein folding are reported in a special edition of Accounts of Chemical Research, a monthly peer- reviewed journal published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The special report, due out in print on Nov. 18, includes results of research done at laboratories in England, Sweden and the U.S.

Protein folding research is "undergoing explosive growth," according to an editorial by Jay Winkler, Ph.D., and Harry Gray, Ph.D., both chemists at the California Institute of Technology and guest editors for the special issue. "Protein folding was once considered an almost intractable problem," write Winkler and Gray, but new efforts "are beginning to reveal the secrets of this prototypal spontaneous self-assembly process."

The special journal issue focuses on the chemical kinetics of the folding phenomenon -- the rate of change as the protein assumes its three-dimensional structure -- and includes a study on recent efforts to make "real time" observations. Folding happens very quickly, which makes it difficult to observe.

For some proteins, the change occurs in milliseconds (thousandths of a second); for others, it can be even faster. Despite recent progress toward understanding the mechanisms of protein folding, scientists still don't agree on exactly how it happens, as evidenced in the journal by the differing conclusions of several articles about the same protein.

"That each of these has a different interpretation of the folding kinetics speaks to the complexity of the problem and the vibrancy of the field," claim Winkler and Gray.

Proteins are involved in many vital roles in humans, including metabolism, immunity and muscle movement. They are made up of amino acids, and it is the sequence of these amino acids that determines the eventual folded structures of the proteins, as well as the actual mechanism of the folding process.

Since a protein's structure is a key factor in how it functions in the body, the goal for researchers is to be able to predict the final three-dimensional structure based on the amino acid sequence.

###

A nonprofit organization with a membership of more than 155,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Untangling The Protein Folding Problem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981118080911.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (1998, November 18). Untangling The Protein Folding Problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981118080911.htm
American Chemical Society. "Untangling The Protein Folding Problem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981118080911.htm (accessed April 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins