How to construct a protein factory

Cells consist of a multitude of molecular structures, some of them exhibiting a staggering complexity. Ribosomes, the protein factories of the cell, belong to the biggest and most sophisticated complexes and are made up of ...

New software brings lower-resolution cryo-EM maps into focus

Cryo-electron microscopy is now the most popular method for determining protein structures, which helps researchers develop drugs for different kinds of ailments. Over the last several decades, it has replaced X-ray crystallography ...

A new mechanism for accessing damaged DNA

UV light damages the DNA of skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer. But this process is counteracted by DNA repair machinery, acting as a molecular sunscreen. It has been unclear, however, how repair proteins work on DNA ...

An unexpected mode of action for an antibody

Studies of human monoclonal antibodies isolated from survivors of coronavirus-induced severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are unveiling surprising immune defense tactics against ...

Enzyme structure reveals how DNA is opened up for transcription

DNA is a molecular manual that contains instructions for building life. And, like any manual, DNA isn't all that useful if it remains unopened and unread. In order to transcribe DNA, the enzyme RNA polymerase, or RNAP, must ...

A molecular hammock for cotranslational modification

Proteins do most of the real work in cells and are modified in accordance with functional requirements. An LMU team has now shown how proteins are chemically altered on the ribosome, even before they fold into the active ...

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