Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Arkansas Researchers Create Super-Stable Protein That Is Well Packed, After The Fact

Date:
March 3, 2000
Source:
University Of Arkansas
Summary:
In the world of proteins, change is usually bad: a simple change in an amino acid, a protein building block, can make the whole structure fall apart. But University of Arkansas researchers have made amino acid changes that instead have created a more stable protein. Medical and industrial processes that use proteins could benefit from this kind of increased protein stability.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- In the world of proteins, change is usually bad: a simple change in an amino acid, a protein building block, can make the whole structure fall apart. But University of Arkansas researchers have made amino acid changes that instead have created a more stable protein. Medical and industrial processes that use proteins could benefit from this kind of increased protein stability.

Wes Stites, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, recently presented the team's findings at the Biophysical Society meeting in New Orleans.

The importance of protein stability lies as close as the soft drinks in your refrigerator. The high-fructose corn syrup that sweetens soda is treated with enzyme beds that eventually wear out, Stites said. More stable enzymes would last longer and reduce costs in this and many other industrial applications.

Stites and his colleagues study Staphylococcus nuclease, a model system for protein structure change. They make mutant proteins by changing a single amino acid, then subject them to heat or chemicals to see how well they hold together.

Most of the time, the mutants turn out to be wimpy, breaking down before their normal counterparts would. Out of 400 to 500 mutants created in Stites' lab, only seven have increased the protein's stability.

But when Stites and his colleagues combined the stabilizing amino acids into one protein, they created the largest increase in stability ever achieved in a protein. The altered protein remained stable at temperatures of more than 20 degrees Celsius higher than the original protein could withstand.

"This shows that it may be simpler than people thought to increase protein stability," Stites said.

In recent years many researchers have looked to thermophiles, organisms that thrive in hot springs and geysers, to study proteins that are stable at high temperatures. They have compared these proteins to ones with regular temperature stability.

" They found a lot of differences between the two types of organisms. But it's not clear what's important for stability," Stites said. One theory attributes thermophiles' high-temperature affinity to how the protein is packed. Proteins consist of long strands of amino acids, and these strands fold together to form a secondary structure in a process called packing.

Thermophiles have fewer internal spaces in their final structures than their low-temperature counterparts because the amino acids are stacked together more efficiently.

Stites found that the changes made in S. nuclease also improved packing, implying that good packing is a secondary effect, instead of a cause as researchers previously thought.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Arkansas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Arkansas. "University Of Arkansas Researchers Create Super-Stable Protein That Is Well Packed, After The Fact." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000303075606.htm>.
University Of Arkansas. (2000, March 3). University Of Arkansas Researchers Create Super-Stable Protein That Is Well Packed, After The Fact. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000303075606.htm
University Of Arkansas. "University Of Arkansas Researchers Create Super-Stable Protein That Is Well Packed, After The Fact." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000303075606.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. 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