Tag Archives: proteins

Keeping an “eye” on the structure and role of visual cycle proteins

The structure and role of visual cycle proteins. AoS

Opsins are ocular proteins in photoreceptors that transform light energy to initiate signals for vision. Each opsin contains an 11-cis-retinal chromophore which is converted into all-trans-retinal when activated by a photon. The all-trans-retinal must be recycled back

Mimicking enzymes using artificial proteins

Critical to life on earth is the ability of proteins called enzymes to catalyze a wide range of chemical reactions, such as producing essential molecules by breaking down food in humans, and producing oxygen from water in

Creating artificial enzymes from small building blocks

Artificial enzymes were first described several decades ago and have become an ambition for bionanomaterial sciences. Artificial enzymes are small fabricated molecules that possess an active centre, which binds to a substrate and catalyses a chemical reaction.

Quantum dots in proteins embraces

You may already heard about quantum dots (QDs) when buying energy saving light source or choosing your new TV set. Quite the same structures are used in life sciences as tools to visualize and track other molecules.

Staphylococcal biofilms: building up “bacterial cities” through a proteinaceous matrix scaffold

Do you know that bacteria, microscopic organisms not visible by the human naked eye, can live in complex communities just like we humans do? They are perfectly able to stick together, grow and multiply in what is

Monitoring biosafety of pharmaceutical drugs, insecticides, and other bioactive molecules to mitochondria

Why study the biosafety of pharmaceutical drugs, insecticides, and other bioactive molecules to mitochondria? Mitochondria are large cell organelles in plant and animal cells. They convert chemical energy from food in the cell to usable energy using

NMR can now scrutinize the membrane of a living cell

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a technique devised by physicists, that has developed into many applications. The most famous one is Magnetic Resonance Imaging that is commonly used in hospitals. In the research lab, NMR is generally

Novel approaches to cancer treatment encoded within non-coding RNA

A hallmark of all living organisms is the presence of genetic material within each cell; this material is invariantly composed of a specific class of biological molecules known as the nucleic acids. While the more familiar variety

Plants versus pathogens: detection and deception

Novel research has unveiled more about the deception tactics used by plants in their continuous battle against attacks from disease-causing pathogens. These findings could help in breeding better crops to reduce losses and produce more food. In

Obesity enhances the risk of arrhythmia

The heart consists of 4 chambers in mammals. The upper two chambers are atria, and the lower ones are ventricles. Ventricles work as pump to eject blood to whole body. Atria have 2 important roles: 1) to

Peptides (small proteins) sharing an active nerve cell protecting site

Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), essential for brain formation, is frequently mutated in children on the autism spectrum. This protein, together with Activity-dependent neurotrophic factor (ADNF) are two proteins that were discovered in the laboratory of Prof. Illana

Allelic variations within genes coding for cytokines among Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia: New candidate genes for future disease studies

Cytokines are a set of low molecular weight proteins/glycoproteins secreted by almost all types of cells. They regulate cell growth, immune response and blood cell development in the bone marrow. Genetic variations in cytokine genes include single

Progress in macromolecular crystallography

The importance of crystallography was recently highlighted by the declaration by UNESCO of the Year of Crystallography 2014. This presented a good occasion to recall the advances of macromolecular crystallography achieved since its birth, more than half

Understanding the rare disease alkaptonuria: the role of oxidative stress, inflammation and amyloidosis

Alkaptonuria (AKU) is an ultra-rare disease that was recognized among the first inborn errors of metabolism. In AKU, an altered activity of the enzyme homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase (HGD) occurring upon gene mutation lead to a defective metabolism of

A new water-filled channel that transports metabolites of peroxisomes

Peroxisomes are the detoxifier of almost all nucleated cells. Their name was given in respect to their capability of eliminating reactive oxygen species like hydrogen peroxide. As round-shaped membrane enclosed vesicles, they can have variable sizes from

A new target in the fight against breast cancer

Cancer cells differ from normal cells in many ways, including their abnormal growth and their ability to change shape and migrate to other tissues. These differences are partly caused by changes in the production of proteins and

Binding study of fibrinogen and albumin to metal oxide nanoparticles and its relevance in nanomedicine

The binding of proteins to different inorganic surfaces plays an important role in natural processes such as the growth of bone tissue (protein-mineral interactions) and in biotechnological and biomedical applications. Recently, the binding of proteins to metal

How selenium is incorporated into proteins: structural view of selenocysteine ‘recoding’

Selenium is an essential micronutrient for human health. It is present in proteins as a special amino acid, selenocysteine, which is the so-called 21st amino acid. Selenocysteine resembles serine and cysteine, where the selenium atom (Se) replaces

Genes are read backwards to restructure our DNA

In English, we read in one direction – from left to right across the page. We need to read words in a certain order, so that the information makes sense to us. In the cells of our

Is it possible reversible and irreversible aggregation of proteins?

The discovery of protein chain regions responsible for protein aggregation is an important result of studying of the molecular mechanisms of prion diseases, and different proteinopathies associated with the formation of pathological aggregations through the prion mechanism.