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Recently identified protein groups play a major role in nature

Researchers have recently discovered various types of protein switches that have been identified as playing a major role in all areas of life, from viruses such as coronavirus to animals, including bacteria, fungi, plants, and humans. The upper NOS group (nitrogen-oxygen-sulfur) and the lower SONOS group (sulfur-oxygen-nitrogen-oxygen-sulfur). Credit: K Tittmann

Proteins are the “hard workers” of all living cells and form the chemical basis of life. These little machines are needed to turn food into energy, control exercise and brain activity, and fight off bacteria and viruses. Protein function is tightly controlled, for example, when an organism encounters stress and needs to adapt, depending on changing conditions. Researchers at the University of Göttingen have recently discovered a group of completely new proteins that act as switches to regulate biological activity. Now they have analyzed all known protein structures and found that this group is present in all areas of life, including fungi, plants and animals (including humans), as well as viruses and bacteria. .. These discoveries have widespread implications for the treatment of many illnesses.The results were published in Nature Chemical Biology..


The University of Göttingen team first discovered a new protein switchProteins from human pathogens are known as “NOS switches” because they connect the atoms of nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Neisseria gonorrhea.. However, the question remained whether this switch was inherently popular. Researchers analyzed a database of known protein structures held in publicly accessible repositories for previously undetected NOS switches.The Computational analysis The lead author, Dr. Fabian Rabe von Pappenheim of the University of Göttingen, has produced hundreds of hits, all of which have been analyzed in detail individually. “Investigating these structures was an exciting endeavor, which was like traveling to a world unknown to us,” recalls Professor Kai Tittman of the University of Göttingen, who led the study. ..

New NOS switches have been found to be present in all domains of life, often at protein sites that are essential for biological function. Surprisingly, numerous proteins from some of the most dangerous human pathogens have this switch, including important enzymes from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. In fact, this switch is a recently approved antiviral target for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who may be at high risk of developing serious illness. In addition, researchers have discovered several new chemical forms of NOS switches. It has proven to be a widely used regulatory platform in biology. The identified proteins play a central role in almost all aspects of cell activity, including gene expression, intracellular and intercellular signaling, and metabolism.

“We have these new discoveries protein Switches will be the starting point for developing a new class of drugs that directly target these switches, “says Tittman. switch. Newly identified switches may also play a central role in the regulation of their biological functions. ”


The basic regulatory mechanism of the discovered protein


For more information:
Fabian Rabe von Pappenheim et al, Widespread development of covalent lysine-cysteine ​​redox switches in proteins, Nature Chemical Biology (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41589-021-00966-5

Quote: Recently identified protein groups play a major role in nature (February 16, 2022). Obtained from https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-protein-group-major-role-nature.html on February 16, 2022

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Recently identified protein groups play a major role in nature

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