Study on plant enzyme shows that proteins can change their structural arrangement with surprising ease

A comparison of rubisco assemblies from different species, illustrating a wide range of structures including a dimer, tetramer, hexamer, octamer, and hexadecamer (16 unit protein). Credit: Shih Lab/Berkeley Lab When you think of proteins—the enzymes, signaling molecules, and structural components in every living thing—you might think of single strands of amino acids, organized like beads … Read more

Team reveals surprising details of crucial energy-producing enzyme

Nebraska’s Oleh Khalimonchuk has helped unravel long-obscured details about the formation of cytochrome c oxidase (left), an enzyme critical to producing the energy that powers all sorts of life-sustaining operations in the cell. Credit: Scott Schrage / University Communication and Marketing A new study from the University of Miami and University of Nebraska-Lincoln has upended … Read more

First structure of key COVID enzyme at human body temperature

Scientists used x-rays to decipher the three-dimensional structure of the main protease of the virus that causes COVID-19 at different temperatures. The background image shows the full structure at 240 Kelvin (-28°F, cyan stick figure) and 100 K (-280°F, dark blue). The red and green blobs represent differences in the structure at these distinct temperatures. … Read more

Enzyme, proteins work together to tidy up tail ends of DNA in dividing cells

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have described the way an enzyme and proteins interact to maintain the protective caps, called telomeres, at the end of chromosomes, a new insight into how a human cell preserves the integrity of its DNA through repeated cell division . DNA replication is essential for … Read more

The function of enzyme ADAR1 links it to age-related diseases via a role independent of RNA-editing during aging

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Aging and age-related disorders pose a complex challenge to the biomedical research community. To better understand how senescence is regulated is of high significance to promote healthy aging and treat age-associated disorders. In a research paper published today in Nature Cell BiologyRugang Zhang, Ph.D., deputy director of the Ellen and Ronald … Read more

First cryo-EM structures of angiotensin-converting enzyme pave the way for better drugs to treat heart disease

Cryo-EM structures of the hourglass-shaped ACE monomer (one protein copy; left) and dimer (two interacting protein copies; middle). A flexible loop (yellow; protein center) acts as a hub for communication between different areas of the protein. Dimerization is like a ‘kiss of death’ since it triggers conformational changes in the protein core that likely inactivate … Read more

Enzyme of bacterial origin promoted the evolution of longhorned beetles

Three steps to the (evolutionary) success of longhorned beetles: An ancestor of today’s longhorned beetles acquired an enzyme of the GH5_2 enzyme family via horizontal gene transfer. Donors were bacteria from the bacterial phylum Bacteroidetes. The original enzyme was a cellulase, but also showed some activity to degrade two other components of the cell wall, … Read more

Neuroscientists expand CRISPR toolkit with new, compact Cas7-11 enzyme

Artistic rendering of the CRISPR Cas 7-11S enzyme. Credit: Steve Dixon Last year, researchers at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research discovered and characterized Cas7-11, the first CRISPR enzyme capable of making precise, guided cuts to strands of RNA without harming cells in the process. Now, working with collaborators at the University of Tokyo, the … Read more