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In this structural model for a beta-lactamase protein, catalytic residues are shown as spheres with those that are consistently highly frustrated along the entire beta-lactamase family shown in red and those for which the frustrated state is not conserved in yellow. The new work by scientists at Rice University, the University of Buenos Aires and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory suggests these enzymes, which must remain exposed to react with their targets, get a measure of protection from the somewhat-frustrated amino acids around them. The green lines represent minimal frustration, the red lines represent high frustration. The linear charts at top and bottom show the positions of the relevant amino acids on the protein chain and a measure of the conservation of energy over the entire beta-lactamases protein family. Illustration by Maria Feiberger

Working proteins make good use of frustration

Proteins- active sites of enzymes- accelerates and guide biochemical reactions make life possible. To do this, their instructions have to conflict somewhat with the...
Todd Hyster’s research group has found a way to make a naturally occurring enzyme take on a new, artificial role. From left: David Miller, postdoctoral researcher; Kyle Biegasiewicz, postdoctoral researcher; Todd Hyster, assistant professor of chemistry, holding a 3-D printed model of the enzyme; Megan Emmanuel, graduate student; Simon Cooper, graduate student. Photo byC. Todd Reichart, Department of Chemistry

Teaching enzyme to build new molecules

Enzymes are nature's catalysts, the keys to influencing basic biochemical reactions to take place rapidly enough to maintain life. Even if searching for more...
Using a state-of-the-art type of electron microscopy, an MIT-led team has discovered the structure of an enzyme that is crucial for maintaining an adequate supply of DNA building blocks in human cells

Researchers delivered high-resolution glimpse of enzyme structure

MIT scientists have investigated the enzyme's structure by using a technique called electron microscopy. This new discovery also unveiled the likely mechanism for how cells regulate...
Computer Model to Control Proteins at a Long Distance

Computer Model to Control Proteins at a Long Distance

Proteins are involved in every biological process. It increases the rate of virtually all the chemical reactions within cells. Because of its fundamental properties, drug...