Current Protein News and Events

Current Protein News and Events, Protein News Articles.
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B cells continue to work against SARS-CoV-2 months after infection, but do not recognize mutant
A new analysis of B cells and more than 1,000 different monoclonal antibodies from 8 patients with COVID-19 shows that, contrary to previous hypotheses, protective B cell responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein remain stable and continue to evolve over a 5-month period, many months after the initial period of active viral replication. (2021-02-23)

Researchers discover potential new therapeutic targets on SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted considerable investigation into how the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein attaches to a human cell during the infection process, as this knowledge is useful in designing vaccines and therapeutics. Now, a team of scientists has discovered additional locations on the Spike protein that may not only help to explain how certain mutations make emerging variants more infectious but also could be used as additional targets for therapeutic intervention. (2021-02-22)

Researchers find evidence of protein folding at site of intracellular droplets
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame found that elevated concentrations of proteins within the droplets triggered a folding event, increasing the potential for protein aggregation -- or misfolding -- which has been linked to neurological diseases including Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). (2021-02-19)

Cells use concentration gradients as a compass
Biophysicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munch have developed a new theory, which accounts for the observation that cells can perceive their own shapes, and use this information to direct the distribution of proteins inside the cell. (2021-02-16)

Finding coronavirus's helper proteins
A group of scientists led by EMBL's Mikhail Savitski, Nassos Typas, and Pedro Beltrao, and collaborator Steeve Boulant at Heidelberg University Hospital, have analysed how the novel coronavirus affects proteins in human cells. They identified several human proteins as potential drug targets to prevent viral replication. (2021-02-16)

New discovery may enable accurate prediction of cancer spread before cancer develops
Researchers from Erler Group at the Biotech Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC) in Copenhagen have discovered that the rigidity of a thin membrane structure encompassing cells and lining all vessels regulates how easily cancer cells can breach tissues to spread through the body, and is thus a key determinant of cancer patient survival. The results are published in Nature Materials today. (2021-02-15)

New insight into protein structures that could treat Huntington's disease
In Huntington's disease, a faulty protein aggregates in brain cells and eventually kills them. Such protein aggregates could, in principle, be prevented with a heat shock protein. However, it is not well known how these proteins interact with the Huntington's disease protein. New research by Patrick van der Wel (University of Groningen) and colleagues at the University of Texas has partially resolved the structure of heat shock proteins that bind to such aggregating proteins. (2021-02-12)

Function identified of 'mystery protein' that kills brain cells of people with Parkinson's
Scientists have made a 'vital step' towards understanding the origins of Parkinson's Disease - the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. A study published in Nature Communications today (Wednesday 10 February) presents a compelling new evidence about what a key protein called alpha-synuclein actually does in neurons in the brain. (2021-02-10)

Plant-based diet and bone health: adequate calcium and vitamin D intakes should be ensured
In a study conducted at the University of Helsinki, partial replacement of animal protein with plant protein in the diet altered bone metabolism and decreased calcium and vitamin D intakes. (2021-02-10)

Cell biology - Overseers of cell death
A new study shows that proteins called IAPs, which can trigger programmed cell death, are inhibited by a specific chemical modification, and reveals that they play a wider role in protein quality control than previously assumed. (2021-02-10)

How the 3-D structure of eye-lens proteins is formed
Chemical bonds within the eye-lens protein gamma-B crystallin hold the protein together and are therefore important for the function of the protein within the lens. Contrary to previous assumptions, some of these bonds, called disulphide bridges, are already formed simultaneously with the synthesis of the protein in the cell. This is what scientists at Goethe University Frankfurt, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics and the French Institute de Biologie Structurale in Grenoble have discovered. (2021-02-10)

New clues to how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells
The molecular details of how SARS-CoV-2 enters cells and infects them are still not clear. Researchers at Uppsala University have tested the bioinformatic predictions made by another research group and have identified receptors that could be important players in the process. The results are presented in the journal Science Signaling and at the AAAS Annual Meeting held this week. (2021-02-08)

New methods for exploring the 'dark matter' of biology
New tools and methods have been described by WEHI researchers to study an unusual protein modification and gain fresh insights into its roles in human health and disease. The study - about how certain sugars modify proteins - was published today in Nature Chemical Biology. Led by WEHI researcher Associate Professor Ethan Goddard-Borger, this work lays a foundation for better understanding diseases like muscular dystrophy and cancer. (2021-02-04)

Uncovering recurring deletions in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that drive antibody escape
Researchers have identified a pattern of deletions in the spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 that can prevent antibody binding. Virus lineages featuring this mechanism are currently being transmitted between individuals globally, they say. (2021-02-03)

Scientists find promising avenue to restore cognitive function impaired by Alzheimer's disease
A team of neuroscientists has identified a potential means to address the loss of cognitive function due to Alzheimer's disease by targeting protein synthesis in mice. Their findings reveal that synthetic pharmaceuticals could rescue the activity of brain cells needed for memory formation. (2021-02-02)

Supersaturation: The barrier between protein folding and misfolding
It's commonly accepted that protein folding/misfolding are alternative reactions of unfolded proteins but the principles governing this remain unknown. Here, researchers from Osaka University describe a general concept that links protein folding and misfolding: protein folding and amyloid formation are separated by the supersaturation barrier of a denatured protein. Breakdown of this supersaturation barrier is required to shift the protein to the amyloid pathway, linking Anfinsen's intramolecular folding universe with the ''outer'' intermolecular misfolding universe. (2021-02-01)

New protein neutralizes COVID in tiny human kidney
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a new protein that acts as a trickster to neutralize the COVID-19 infection in a human kidney organoid, a miniature organ made from stem cells in the lab. (2021-02-01)

New weapon for inflammation
Flinders University researchers have discovered a new anti-inflammatory role for well-known blood clot protein fibrinogen, which could support targeted new treatments for kidney, heart and other common diseases. The study in Redox Biology describes how fibrinogen can be protective against hypochlorite - a chemical generated by the body during inflammation - and so act as a kind of antioxidant in blood plasma. (2021-01-31)

NUS scientists discover a new pathway essential for blood formation
Scientists from the National University of Singapore have discovered how a protein called Tip60 plays a vital role in the renewal of blood cells in the body. Without it, the stem cells that make new blood suffer catastrophic damage. This discovery could lead to better treatments for life-threatening blood-related diseases like leukemia. (2021-01-28)

Pharmaceutical research: when active substance and target protein 'embrace' each other
Scientists at Goethe University Frankfurt, together with colleagues from Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Oxford and Dundee (UK), have investigated how the fit of potent inhibitors to their binding sites can be optimised so that they engage longer with their target proteins. Long target residency has been associated with more efficient pharmacological responses e.g. in cancer therapy. In future, the researchers want to use computer simulations to predict the residence time of inhibitors during drug development. (2021-01-28)

Dairy calves benefit from higher-protein starter feed, Illinois study says
Dairy producers know early nutrition for young calves has far-reaching impacts, both for the long-term health and productivity of the animals and for farm profitability. With the goal of increasing not just body weight but also lean tissue gain, a new University of Illinois study finds enhanced milk replacer with high crude-protein dry starter feed is the winning combination. (2021-01-25)

Scientists modeled protein behavior of archaeal viruses to crack protein folding mystery
Scientists from the Pacific Quantum Center of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) figured out how the AFV3-109 protein with slipknot structure folds and unfolds depending on temperature. The protein is typical for the viruses of the oldest single-celled organisms that can survive in the extreme conditions of underwater volcanic sources - archaea. The research outcome appears in PLOS ONE. (2021-01-13)

A subtle change in the DNA may predispose to polyneuropathy after gut infection
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) identified a novel genetic variant associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). By analyzing the DNA sequence of patients with the disease, the researchers identified two novel variants of the ganglioside-binding protein Siglec-10 accumulated in the patients. They found that one of these variants impairs the function of the protein, predisposing carriers to the development of GBS. This study improves our understanding of the pathophysiology of GBS. (2021-01-07)

Archaeology: sharing leftover meat may have contributed to early dog domestication
Humans feeding leftover lean meat to wolves during harsh winters may have had a role in the early domestication of dogs, towards the end of the last ice age (14,000 to 29,000 years ago), according to a study published in Scientific Reports. (2021-01-07)

The brain's protein factories at work
Protein synthesis is a finely tuned process in the cell by macromolecules known as ribosomes. Which regulators are responsible for controlling protein synthesis in the brain? To address this question, researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin studied the structure of the brain's ribosomal complexes in great detail. The team was able to identify a new factor which is also involved in controlling brain development. Details of this research have been published in Molecular Cell*. (2020-12-22)

Research strongly suggests COVID-19 virus enters the brain
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, like many viruses before it, is bad news for the brain. In a study published Dec. 16, 2020 in Nature Neuroscience, researchers found that the spike protein, often depicted as the red arms of the virus, can cross the blood-brain barrier in mice. The spike proteins alone can cause brain fog. Since the spike protein enters the brain, the virus also is likely to cross into the brain. (2020-12-17)

Researchers find why 'lab-made' proteins have unusually high temperature stability
Efforts to enhance the ability of proteins to resist breaking down, or 'denaturing', at high temperatures is one of the hottest topics in biotech. Researchers have now identified some of the principles behind how this works, potentially opening up a raft of industrial applications for designer proteins. (2020-12-11)

The Protein Society announces 2022 appointment of Protein Science Editor-in-chief
The Protein Society is thrilled to announce the appointment of John Kuriyan, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley as Editor-in-Chief of Protein Science, effective January 1, 2022. He will succeed outgoing editor Dr. Brian Matthews, who has served in this role since 2005 and provided continuous outstanding service to our society and the broader community. (2020-12-11)

VRK1: a protein that reduces the survival of patients with neuroblastoma
Researchers have characterised the function of VRK1 in neuroblastoma tumour cells and have determined that this protein is essential for tumour cell growth and proliferation. ''By studying the expression of this protein in tumours, we were able to identify a priori patients where tumour progression is going to be worse, even in groups where current tools do not predict that behaviour,'' notes Francisco M. Vega. (2020-12-11)

Correctly delivered and integrated: How proteins find their place in the cell
Over a quarter of all proteins in a cell are found in the membrane. To fulfil their roles, membrane proteins must be reliably transported from their site of production to their destination and correctly inserted into the target membrane. Researchers from Heidelberg University have succeeded in determining the three-dimensional structure of a molecular machine responsible for the correct placement of so-called 'tail-anchored' membrane proteins. (2020-12-03)

Small molecules control bacterial resistance to antibiotics
Antibiotics have revolutionized medicine by providing effective treatments for infectious diseases such as cholera. But the pathogens that cause disease are increasingly developing resistance to the antibiotics that are most commonly used. Scientists at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany have discovered a molecule that influences the antibiotic-resistance of cholera bacteria. They have published their results in the scientific journal ''Nature Communications''. (2020-11-27)

Sestrin makes fruit flies live longer
Researchers identify positive effector behind reduced food intake. (2020-11-24)

Proteins in motion
Membrane proteins are more efficient at reaching distal dendrites than soluble proteins (2020-11-21)

Illuminating tiny proteins in living cells using single-residue labeling tags
SciLifeLab Fellow Simon Elsässer laboratory at Karolinska Institutet reports a method, which allows fluorescent tagging of proteins with the small perturbation -- a single amino acid -- added genetically on either end of a (micro)protein of interest. The method is termed Single-residue Terminal Labeling, STELLA. (2020-11-12)

Yale scientists identify protein that protects against Lyme
Yale researchers have discovered a protein that helps protect hosts from infection with the tick-borne spirochete that causes Lyme Disease, a finding that may help diagnose and treat this infection, they report Nov. 11 in the journal PLOS Pathogens. (2020-11-11)

Perspectives of infrared spectroscopy in quantitative estimation of proteins
The present review describes the basic principle and the instrumentation of IR spectroscopy along with its advancements. Beyond this, various applications of this technique in determination of protein structure and quantification in different materials such as foods stuffs, biotechnological products and biological fluids have also been summarized. (2020-11-06)

Virus that causes COVID-19 puts a plug in cellular defenses
One of the novel coronavirus' most insidious tricks is that it can block the ability of cells to produce protective proteins without hindering its own ability to replicate. A new Yale study reveals how it does it. (2020-11-05)

Stable protein decoy neutralized SARS-CoV-2 in cells and protected hamsters from viral challenge
Researchers have designed a protein 'decoy' that mimics the interface where the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binds a human cell, one version of which could neutralize virus infection in cells and protect hamsters from viral challenge. (2020-11-05)

Waiter! This soup is not fly
Black Soldier Fly larvae contains more zinc and iron than lean meat and its calcium content is higher than milk. Less than half a hectare of black soldier fly larvae can produce more protein than cattle grazing on around 1200 hectares, or 52 hectares of soybeans. New research has identified the barriers for introducing fly protein into Western human diets as a sustainable, healthy alternative to both meat and plant proteins. (2020-10-28)

Computer vision helps find binding sites in drug targets
Scientists from the iMolecule group at Skoltech developed BiteNet, a machine learning (ML) algorithm that helps find drug binding sites, i.e. potential drug targets, in proteins. BiteNet can analyze 1,000 protein structures in 1.5 minutes and find optimal spots for drug molecules to attach. (2020-10-27)

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