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.

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 July 30, 2014 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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