Medical research

Immunotherapy reduces lung and liver fibrosis in mice

Chronic diseases often lead to fibrosis, a condition in which organ tissue suffers from excessive scarring. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now developed an immunotherapy that specifically targets the cause—activated ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

SARS-CoV-2 protein caught severing critical immunity pathway

Over the past two years, scientists have studied the SARS-CoV-2 virus in great detail, laying the foundation for developing COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral treatments. Now, for the first time, scientists at the Department ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers discover 'weak spot' across major COVID-19 variants

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered a key vulnerability across all major variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the recently emerged BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron subvariants.

Health informatics

Biologists train AI to generate medicines and vaccines

Scientists have developed artificial intelligence software that can create proteins that may be useful as vaccines, cancer treatments, or even tools for pulling carbon pollution out of the air.

page 1 from 22

Protein structure

Proteins are an important class of biological macromolecules present in all biological organisms, made up of such elements as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulphur. All proteins are polymers of amino acids. The polymers, also known as polypeptides, consist of a sequence of 20 different L-α-amino acids, also referred to as residues. For chains under 40 residues the term peptide is frequently used instead of protein. To be able to perform their biological function, proteins fold into one, or more, specific spatial conformations, driven by a number of noncovalent interactions such as hydrogen bonding, ionic interactions, Van Der Waals forces and hydrophobic packing. In order to understand the functions of proteins at a molecular level, it is often necessary to determine the three dimensional structure of proteins. This is the topic of the scientific field of structural biology, that employs techniques such as X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy, to determine the structure of proteins.

A number of residues are necessary to perform a particular biochemical function, and around 40-50 residues appears to be the lower limit for a functional domain size. Protein sizes range from this lower limit to several thousand residues in multi-functional or structural proteins. However, the current estimate for the average protein length is around 300 residues. Very large aggregates can be formed from protein subunits, for example many thousand actin molecules assemble into a microfilament.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA