Weird Protein Puzzles Researchers

by Savitha C Muppala on  September 9, 2006 at 2:53 PM Research News
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Weird Protein Puzzles Researchers
The surface of leukemia cells are thought to be inhabited by a rather peculiar protein, sobriquet as the "Frankenstein protein", which has peptides attached together in a pattern which is exactly the opposite of the code present in the DNA template. This revelation is far removed from the theory prescribed in the molecular biology textbooks.

This discovery has meant a shift in the original thinking that relied on the information that the structure of a protein is fixed by the DNA template, but now researchers feel that a bit of rearrangement does happen after the protein has been created.

Researchers say that the peptide sequence differs in comparison with the template sequence of DNA, in charge of encoding them. This knowledge will assist in the birth of peptide vaccines, to protect against cancer and contagious diseases. Researchers discovered that after a protein is assembled, the proteasome, which is part of the cells, is capable of changing the order of a few of the peptides.

The immune system essentially defends the body from invading cells, as soon as it senses the alien peptides on the surface of the cells. Similarly, the peptides present on the surface of a developing cancer alert the immune system, which permits the production of antigens from one single protein. Indeed, this discovery holds promise for the development of peptide vaccines.

Source: Medindia
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