Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New invention unravels mystery of protein folding

Date:
September 14, 2011
Source:
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
A new invention able to quickly predict three-dimensional structure of protein could have huge implications for drug discovery and human health.

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory invention able to quickly predict three-dimensional structure of protein could have huge implications for drug discovery and human health.

While scientists have long studied protein structure and the mechanism of folding, this marks the first time they are able to computationally predict three-dimensional structure independent of size of the protein. Because the invention also determines possible intermediate states in the protein folding process, it provides a clearer picture and could open doors to designing new medicines for neurodegenerative diseases that are caused by incorrectly folded proteins.

Pratul Agarwal, inventor of the method and a member of the Department of Energy lab's Computer Science and Mathematics Division, believes this new method will provide benefits in many areas.

"This finding is relevant to energy, climate and health, which are all of tremendous significance today," Agarwal said. "We expect this approach to have many industrial applications through protein engineering, for example, where we expect to be able to design more efficient enzymes."

Proteins often adopt a three-dimensional structure that allows them to carry out their designated function, but such a structure has provided a computationally challenging task. Using the fundamental insights of the protein structure, dynamics and function, the ORNL invention discloses a unique computational methodology to explore the conformational energy landscape of a protein.

"One of the main advantages of this approach is that it follows the natural intrinsic dynamics of the protein and by promoting the relevant dynamical modes allows rapid exploration of the folding pathway and prediction of the protein structure," Agarwal said.

In the area of drug development, Agarwal, a computational biophysicist, expects this discovery to help in the development of treatments with little or no side effects.

Funding for this research has been provided by the National Institutes of Health, Battelle Memorial Institute and the ORNL Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. Patent No. 7,983,887, "Fast computational methods for mechanism of protein folding and prediction of protein structure from primary sequence," was issued to Agarwal in July 2011.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Arvind Ramanathan, Andrej J. Savol, Christopher J. Langmead, Pratul K. Agarwal, Chakra S. Chennubhotla. Discovering Conformational Sub-States Relevant to Protein Function. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (1): e15827 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015827
  2. Jose M. Borreguero, Junhong He, F. Meilleur, Kevin L. Weiss, Craig M. Brown, Dean A. Myles, Kenneth W. Herwig, Pratul K. Agarwal. Redox-Promoting Protein Motions in Rubredoxin. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2011; 115 (28): 8925 DOI: 10.1021/jp201346x

Cite This Page:

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "New invention unravels mystery of protein folding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110914131357.htm>.
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (2011, September 14). New invention unravels mystery of protein folding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110914131357.htm
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "New invention unravels mystery of protein folding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110914131357.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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