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Un-natural mRNAs modified with sulfur atoms boost efficient protein synthesis
A group of Japanese scientists has succeeded in the development of modified messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that contain sulfur atoms in the place of oxygen atoms of phosphate moieties of natural mRNAs. They discovered that modified mRNAs accelerated the initiation step of the translation reactions and improved efficiency of protein synthesis by at least 20 times compared with that using natural-form mRNAs. (2020-07-16)

An early morning whey protein snack increases morning blood sugar level in healthy people
Consuming protein at night increases blood sugar level in the morning for healthy people, according to new research presented this week at The Physiological Society's virtual early career conference called Future Physiology 2020. (2020-07-10)

X-ray scattering shines light on protein folding
KAIST researchers have used an X-ray method to track how proteins fold, which could improve computer simulations of this process, with implications for understanding diseases and improving drug discovery. Their findings were reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) on June 30. (2020-07-09)

How are misfolded membrane proteins cleared from cells by "reubiquitinase"?
Chinese researchers recently discovered a protein quality control mechanism called ''reubiquitination'', which could promote the elimination of misfolded membrane proteins, minimize their dwell time in cells, and thereby reduce their probability to form toxic aggregates in human body. (2020-07-08)

Soy and wheat proteins helpful for building aging muscles, but not as potent as animal protein
On a gram for gram basis, animal proteins are more effective than plant proteins in supporting the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass with advancing age, shows research presented this week at The Physiological Society's virtual early career conference Future Physiology 2020. (2020-07-07)

A new biotinylation enzyme for analyzing protein-protein interactions
Proteins play roles by interacting with various other proteins. Therefore, interaction analysis is an indispensable technique for studying the function of proteins. In this research, we have developed a biotinylation enzyme, AirID, using an ancestral enzyme reconstruction algorithm. AirID is a highly active biotinylation enzyme with low toxicity. By using AirID, comprehensive biotinylation of proteins interacting with a target protein in cells was achieved when the target protein was expressed as a fusion protein with AirID. (2020-07-06)

Malaria's secret to surviving in the blood uncovered
New research from the Francis Crick Institute has found how the malaria parasite protects itself from toxic compounds in red blood cells. (2020-06-30)

A new antibiotic binding site was found in the ribosome
A group of scientists from Russia, Germany and the United States, led by Skoltech scientists Ilya Osterman, Petr Sergiev, Olga Dontsova and Daniel Wilson from Hamburg University, studied the mechanism by which tetracenomycin X works, blocking the process of protein synthesis in bacteria. It turned out that it acts differently from the well-known antibiotic tetracycline, which gives good prospects for overcoming antibiotic resistance in bacteria. (2020-06-29)

University of Cincinnati research uncovers clues in use of immunotherapy for breast cancer
UC researchers have found a potential new combination therapy for breast cancer that would integrate use of the body's immune system with targeted treatment for a particular protein that advances cancer. (2020-06-24)

A vital game of hide-and-seek elucidated by novel single-molecule microscopy
Life depends on an intricate game of hide-and-seek taking place inside the cell. New research, which is now published in the journal Nature, sheds light on the mechanisms with which DNA-binding proteins search the genome for their specific binding sites. (2020-06-24)

Virtually screening antiviral compounds against SARS-CoV-2 structure may speed up drug and vaccine D
Virtually screening antiviral compounds to model their interactions with the SARS-CoV-2 virus may enable scientists to more easily identify antiviral drugs that work against the virus while informing the search for viable vaccine candidates, according to a new study. By screening for interactions with certain (2020-06-24)

New structural 'map' solves mysteries of gigantic gene regulator
Structural biology has been used to 'map' part of a protein called SMCHD1, explaining how some changes in SMCHD1 cause certain developmental and degenerative conditions. Publishing in the journal Science Signaling, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute team revealed the structure of the portion of the SMCHD1 protein that is crucial to its function in 'switching off' genes. Inherited mutations in this part of SMCHD1 have been linked to a developmental disorder and a form of muscular dystrophy. (2020-06-17)

New antivirals for influenza and Zika
Leuven researchers have deployed synthetic amyloids to trigger protein misfolding as a strategy to combat the influenza A and Zika virus. (2020-06-09)

Ways to disrupt protein synthesis in Staphylococcus aureus found
It is well known that many strains of Staphylococcus are resistant to antibiotics, and research groups around the world seek new targets in the bacteria to decrease their infectious potential. (2020-06-09)

Re-trafficking proteins to fight Salmonella infections
New study demonstrates how monitoring all cellular proteins over time and space can improve our understanding of host-pathogen interactions. (2020-06-09)

Census of viral spike protein antigens reveals candidates for use in a COVID-19 vaccine
A group of researchers has determined how different proteins associated with SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19 -- generate immune responses when given to rabbits as immunizations. (2020-06-08)

Insight into protein misfolding could open up new approaches to treat Parkinson's disease
Researchers have uncovered a link between the structure of the protein alpha-synuclein and its likelihood to misfold and aggregate. (2020-06-04)

Researchers identify secretion mechanisms for a protein necessary for maintaining healthy connective
Researchers have discovered that a defective form of the protein aortic carboxypeptidase-like protein (ACLP) from patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is retained in cells and induces cellular stress. This finding may provide targets for pharmacologic and therapeutic interventions in treating individuals with EDS as well as wound healing disorders and fibrosis. (2020-06-03)

Directed protein evolution with CRISPR-Cas9
New area of application for gene scissors: Optimized proteins for biomedical research. (2020-05-26)

Researchers discover how protein can inhibit cancer development in mice
In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered how the protein PP2A can inhibit tumour growth in mice. The protein turns off an enzyme that stimulates cell growth, thus inhibiting the development of cancer. (2020-05-26)

New approach to design functional antibodies for precision vaccines
A new approach to de novo protein design dubbed 'TopoBuilder' allows researchers to develop complex antigens that, when used in vaccines, elicit antibody responses that target the weaknesses in some of the most intractable viral pathogens, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). (2020-05-14)

How cells decide the way they want to recycle their content
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) identified a new phosphorylation site of Ulk1 as a novel regulating mechanism of alternative autophagy. By inducing DNA damage in MEFs using etoposide, the researchers found that Ulk1 became phosphorylated at the serine 746 site by RIPK3 in alternative autophagy, but not canonical autophagy (see Figure). These findings could help to understand the role of alternative autophagy in normal biology and disease. (2020-05-14)

A new plant-based system for the mass production of allergens for immunotherapy
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba developed a novel system for the mass production of allergens. Using a plant-based protein expression system, they showed how large amounts of immunogenic birch pollen allergen can be produced in just a few days. These findings could improve immunotherapy for patients with environmental allergies. (2020-05-10)

Potato power: Spuds serve high quality protein that's good for women's muscle
Researchers from McMaster University have found that the potato, primarily known as a starchy vegetable, can be a source of high-quality protein that helps to maintain muscle. (2020-05-05)

Singaporeans suffering from sleep disorders may have help from mechanism regulating biological clock
Recent sleep surveys show that Singaporeans are among the world's most sleep deprived people. Scientists from Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) and the University of Tokyo provide new evidence, which supports the presence of a key mechanism that regulates our biological clock. In the study published in PNAS, the team used preclinical models to validate that mutations in PER2 protein can alter the balance of the circadian period, which can lead to sleep disorders. (2020-05-04)

Mapping glycan composition on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to inform vaccine design
Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, researchers have mapped glycan-processing states of the spike protein complex that allows the SARS-CoV-2 virus to infect human cells - finding that SARS-CoV-2 S glycans differ from typical host glycan processing, which may have implications in vaccine design. (2020-05-04)

Liver surgery success boosted by growth hormone
Growth hormone has been identified as playing a key role in reducing inflammation and increasing survival rates following liver surgery. (2020-05-04)

Defects in the 'Swiss-army knife' of gene expression may contribute to neuronal diseases like Alzheimer's
When the master regulator of protein production malfunctions, it may contribute to the development of neuronal diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's. (2020-05-01)

Cracking the Lyme disease code
The next time a tick feeds on you, Washington State University researchers hope to make sure persistent arthritis caused by Lyme disease doesn't linger for a lifetime. (2020-04-30)

KU Leuven researchers unravel protein mystery of three brain diseases
The accumulation of one particular protein in the brain is at the basis of three very different age-related conditions. Until recently, nobody understood how this was possible. Research by the Laboratory for Neurobiology and Gene Therapy (KU Leuven) now reveals that the shape of the protein determines the clinical picture. (2020-04-29)

A novel method to precisely deliver therapeutics inside the body
A new way to deliver therapeutic proteins inside the body uses an acoustically sensitive carrier to encapsulate the proteins and ultrasound to image and guide the package to the exact location required, according to Penn State researchers. Ultrasound then breaks the capsule, allowing the protein to enter the cell. (2020-04-22)

Dissecting the mechanism of protein unfolding by SDS
A new study by the Aksimentiev group at the University of Illinois has used molecular dynamics simulations to understand how sodium dodecyl sulfate, a commonly used detergent in labs, induces protein folding. Their results were published in the journal Nanoscale. (2020-04-17)

Healthy climate news: Fava beans could replace soy
The end of soy as a protein substitute? Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have found a way to make protein powder using fava beans -- a far more climate-friendly alternative. (2020-04-16)

Predicting the evolution of genetic mutations
CSHL quantitative biologists have designed a new machine learning technique for predicting evolutionary pathways. It could prove a valuable tool for biologists studying rapidly evolving viruses or cancer. (2020-04-14)

Spider venom key to pain relief without side-effects
Molecules in tarantula venom could be used as an alternative to opioid pain killers for people seeking chronic pain relief. (2020-04-13)

Research sheds light on how silver ions kill bacteria
The antimicrobial properties of silver have been known for centuries. Now scientists are seeking to better understand how the noble metal kills bacteria to help combat antiobiotic-resistant 'superbugs.' (2020-04-09)

One of the mechanisms of Staphylococcus antibiotic resistance deciphered
The Russian side is represented by Structural Biology Lab (Kazan Federal University) and Institute of Proteins (Russian Academy of Sciences). This particular paper tackles the issue of stress resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. The results can help in finding new antibiotics. (2020-04-07)

Researchers solve structure of 'inverted' rhodopsin
Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, working with Spanish, French, and German colleagues, have determined and analyzed the high-resolution structure of a protein from the recently discovered heliorhodopsin family. Microbial rhodopsins play a key role in optogenetics -- a technique that uses light to control nerve and muscle cells in living tissue. (2020-04-02)

Blocking the iron transport could stop tuberculosis
The bacteria that cause tuberculosis need iron to survive. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now solved the first detailed structure of the transport protein responsible for the iron supply. When the iron transport into the bacteria is inhibited, the pathogen can no longer grow. This opens novel ways to develop targeted tuberculosis drugs. (2020-04-01)

Scientists discover gene that increases risk of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Central South University (CSU) in China have for the first time identified a gene that increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease. (2020-03-31)

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