“Hero” Proteins May Shield Other Proteins from Harm

“Hero” Proteins May Shield Other Proteins from Harm

Publication date: Mar 20, 2020

ABOVE: WIKIMEDIA, BCNDOYE Researchers at RIKEN and the University of Tokyo report the existence of a new class of proteins in Drosophila and human cell extracts that may serve as shields that protect other proteins from becoming damaged and causing disease.

-The discovery of Hero proteins has far-reaching implications,” says Caitlin Davis, a chemist at Yale University who was not involved in the study, -and should be considered both at a basic science level in biochemistry assays and for applications as a potential stabilizer in protein-based pharmaceuticals. “

Although he didn’t publish the work at the time, Iwasaki called the new type of protein a Heat-resistant obscure (Hero) protein-not because of their ability to rescue Argonaute from destruction, but because in Japan, the term -hero” means -weak or not rigid,” and Hero proteins don’t have stiff 3-D structures like other proteins do.

But recognition of a more widespread role for Hero proteins in protecting other molecules in the cell gives the name new meaning.

-It is generally assumed that proteins are folded into three-dimensional structures, which determine their functions,” says Kotaro Tsuboyama, a biochemist at the University of Tokyo and the lead author of the new study.

In the new study, Tsuboyama and his team boiled lysates from Drosophila and human cell lines, identifying hundreds of Hero proteins that withstood the temperature.

Whatever discoveries future work might hold, Tsuboyama says, the scientific community’s reaction to the team’s new study has been consistent: -Almost everyone says that Hero proteins are interesting but mysterious. “

Concepts Keywords
ALS Organic polymers
Amino Acid Organic compounds
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Argonaute
Argonaute Denaturation
Biochemist Cooking
Biochemistry Protein structure
Brain Branches of biology
Cerebrospinal Fluid ALS
Chemist Disease
Counterparts Chemicals
Denaturation Pharmaceuticals
Genetically Engineered
Lactate Dehydrogenase
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurodegenerative Disorders


Type Source Name
disease MESH community
disease MESH amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
disease MESH neurodegenerative disorders

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