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. “
|disease||MESH||amyotrophic lateral sclerosis|