HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
UW-Madison engineers squeeze secrets from proteins

Proteins, one of the basic components of living things, are among the most studied molecules in biochemistry. Understanding how proteins form or "fold" from sequenced strings of amino acids has long been one of the grand challenges of biology.

A common belief holds that the more proteins are confined by their environment, the more stable - or less likely to unfold - they become. Now, as reported on the cover of the March issue of Biophysical Journal, a team of chemical and biological engineers from UW-Madison shows that premise to be untrue. While confinement plays an important role, other factors are also at play.

"Most research in this area looked at proteins in free solution when in fact, most proteins are confined in some way," says Juan de Pablo, a chemical and biological engineer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "What we demonstrate for the first time is that the stability of proteins under severe confinement, which is really the relevant way of looking at them for numerous applications, depends on their shape, their size and their interactions with the environment. It is a delicate balance between the energy available to fold the protein and entropy, or it's desire to be in the unfolded state."

De Pablo's research team developed a method to precisely calculate the entropy and determine how much of a protein's stability change upon confinement to attribute to energy and how much to entropy. "This is the important part of the calculation," de Pablo adds.

Protein stability is an incredibly important property in myriad applications, de Pablo says. Consider laundry detergent. A popular ad for detergent once claimed that "protein gets out protein." The idea behind this is that engineered enzymes are at work in the wash breaking down elements of a stain.

"Once a protein is folded, you can actually unfold it or destabilize it, either by heating it up, or by adding solvents to the system, like urea for example, that j
'"/>

Contact: Juan de Pablo
depablo@engr.wisc.edu
608-516-7877
University of Wisconsin-Madison
21-Mar-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. UW-Madison work on stem cells, cardiac health to be presented at ACS
2. UW-Madison researchers find new way to sweeten key drugs
3. UW-Madison research part of international mercury conference
4. UW-Madison small-scale research receives big boost
5. $3.4 million directed to key UW-Madison MS study
6. UW-Madison scientists zero in on drugs sweet spots
7. UW-Madison gains two new stem cell programs
8. Water research initiatives at UW-Madison
9. Boston Univeristy bioengineers devise dimmer swith to regulate gene expression in mammal cells
10. Worlds top engineers in San Antonio for system of systems conference
11. New medications, cancer diagnosis goals of UH engineers with $1M in grants

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Madison engineers squeeze secrets from proteins

(Date:8/21/2014)... of the water window? It consists of radiations in ... absorbed by the water in biological tissues. New theoretical ... radiations within the water window. These could be the ... image of the biological samples or to be used ... the physical mechanism needed to efficiently generate the harmonic ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... tube connectors, designed by an international standards process, will ... According to an invited review published in the OnlineFirst ... NCP ), the official journal of the American Society ... will greatly reduce the occurrence of misconnection that can ... connectors, which are used to join medical devices, components, ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... from North Carolina State University have developed a novel ... model has applications for creating new materials as well ... "Our new technique allows us to model much larger ... much more quickly," says Nan Li, lead author of ... in NC State,s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Water window imaging opportunity 2New feeding tube connectors will improve patient safety 2Researchers develop models to study polyelectrolytes, including DNA and RNA 2
(Date:8/22/2014)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) August 22, 2014 ... professional and in-depth study on the current state of ... The report provides a basic overview of the industry, ... analysis and Chinese domestic market analysis are provided with ... of the market. A comparison between the international and ...
(Date:8/22/2014)... The identification of protein-coding variants underlying ... by exome sequencing. Built on Roche NimbleGen’s proprietary ... EZ Developer system has been a proven tool ... present how he achieved coverage statistics similar to ... exome kits. With over 236,000 SNPs and over ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... team including DESY scientists has observed tiny quantum vortices ... in the journal Science that the exotic ... nanodroplets. It is the first time that the quantum ... of what is known as superfluid helium, have been ... expectations," says Andrey Vilesov of the University of Southern ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... N.Y. (PRWEB) August 21, 2014 The ... the first private college in the Mid-Hudson Region to ... will now begin accepting applications from qualified “high-technology” businesses ... “We are very pleased to have been selected for ... Governor Cuomo’s transformative initiative to stimulate economic development in ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Diabetes Drugs Industry Growth Analysis in Global, China Regions Research Report Available at DeepResearchReports.com 2Diabetes Drugs Industry Growth Analysis in Global, China Regions Research Report Available at DeepResearchReports.com 3Efficient Identification of Protein-Coding Variants in a Model Organism Through Exome Sequencing, New Webinar Hosted by Xtalks 2Scientists observe quantum vortices in cold helium droplets 2The College of New Rochelle Becomes First Private College in Mid-Hudson Region to Earn START-UP NY Designation 2The College of New Rochelle Becomes First Private College in Mid-Hudson Region to Earn START-UP NY Designation 3
Cached News: