Purdue chemists 'put the twist' on protein building block

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue scientists have made an important biological molecule "swing," in work that might clarify the process by which proteins fold as well as lead to new approaches to drug development and computer memory.

Using lasers to initiate and probe the folding process, a group including chemist Timothy Zwier have precisely determined the energies needed to twist tryptamine, a molecule with several flexible "hinges" that bears a close resemblance to an amino acid, the basis of proteins. Understanding the energy pathways that these molecules take passing from one conformation to another could provide new understanding of the elusive process of protein folding - an essential part of the development of these fundamental biological molecules. And though tryptamine forms only a tiny portion of a protein, a better understanding of this close chemical relative to serotonin and melatonin could provide insights into these other substances' effect on the brain.

"If you want to know how molecules function in the body, you can't just look at their structure - you have to look at the dynamics of how they change," said Zwier, who is a professor of chemistry in Purdue's School of Science. "On a small scale, we have found a way to look at the dynamic processes that makes one such molecule change shape. While we're still a long way from understanding how proteins take on their complex shapes, this work could be a step in that direction."

This research, which Zwier conducted with graduate student Jasper Clarkson and former student Brian Dian (now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Virginia), appears in the current (Feb. 20) issue of the journal Science.

For the past several years, science magazines have regularly adorned their covers with intricate, multicolored spirals - illustrations that represent the recently revealed internal structure of proteins, some of the most complex molecules known. To atta

Contact: Chad Boutin
Purdue University

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Purdue study finds antioxidant protects metal-eating plants
2. Bright idea could doom cancer and viruses, say Purdue scientists
3. Purdue yeast makes ethanol from agricultural waste more effectively
4. IU and Purdue scientists to answer questions about Brood X periodical cicadas
5. Purdue scientists finding ways to outsmart crop-damaging bugs
6. Chestnut trees to spread across landscape again, says Purdue scientist
7. Purdue scientists: To stop cancer, keep your Icmt away from your Ras
8. Purdue scientists: Genetically modified fish could damage ecology
9. Fat cells fight disease, Purdue University researchers find
10. Purdue chemist mussels in on secrets of natural adhesives
11. Purdue engineers develop quick, inexpensive method to prototype microchips

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and Markets ... 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR ... Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an ... the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... LONDON , April 6, 2017 ... Control, RFID, ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & ... Energy Facility, Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear ... Healthcare, Educational, Other) Are you looking for ... Authentication sector? ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS The ... at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period ... primary factor for the growth of the stem cell ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market ... and geography. The stem cell market of the product ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program ... in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt ... to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the ... RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. ... need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze the ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today ... which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb ... The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted ... saved as compared to standard bone marrow stem ... resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces the ... of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health regimens. ... operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach Mazor ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: