Study predicts, verifies protein folding

October 4th, 2005 in Other Sciences /

Houston scientists have combined theory and experiment for the first time to predict and verify protein-folding dynamics of a complex protein.

"Researchers have successfully combined computer modeling and experimental results in folding studies for small proteins, but this is the first effective combination for a large, multi-domain protein," said study co-author Kathleen Matthews, dean of Rice University's Wiess School of Natural Sciences.

Each cell in the human body contains thousands of proteins. A protein's function is tied to shape and every protein self-assembles into its characteristic shape within seconds of being created.

"The folded, functional form of the protein is what really matters, and our interest is in creating a folding roadmap of sorts, a plot of the thermodynamic route that the protein follows as it moves toward equilibrium," said co-author Cecilia Clementi, an assistant professor of chemistry.

The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

"Study predicts, verifies protein folding." October 4th, 2005. http://phys.org/news6965.html