How might the novel coronavirus be prevented from entering a host cell in an effort to thwart infection? A team of biomedical scientists has made a discovery that points to a solution. The scientists, led by Maurizio Pellecchia in the UC Riverside School of Medicine, report in the journal Molecules that two proteases -- enzymes that break down proteins -- located on the surface of host cells and responsible for processing viral entry could be inhibited.
Researchers from the Faculties of Chemistry and Biology at Bielefeld University have now found a method that might make the production of a biologically significant precursor of jasmonic acid more efficient and cheaper. Their innovation: they imitate how plants produce the hormone. The result is 12-OPDA, a central precursor of jasmonic acid. In the long term, it could also be a potential precur-sor for high-quality perfume. The researchers present their method today (29.05.2020) in the re-search journal Advanced Science.
How does general anesthesia cause loss of consciousness? Despite its 175-year-history of use by the U.S. medical system, science has been unable to definitively answer that question, until now. The lipid-based answer could open other brain mysteries.
A new technique overcomes a serious hurdle in the field of bacterial design and engineering. Researchers develop method to identify proteins that enable highly efficient bacterial design. Approach has potential to boost efforts in bacterial design to tackle infectious diseases, bacterial drug resistance, environmental cleanup and more.
Skoltech scientists and their colleagues have studied more than 30 thousand variants of genetic sequences encoding two fluorescent proteins in order to determine which characteristics of mRNA and of the first dozen or so codons in it can increase the efficiency of translation. Among other things, they found that rare codons at the beginning of the sequence do not seem to enhance translation, contrary to some hypotheses.
An international research team has for the first time obtained the structure of the light-sensitive sodium-pumping KR2 protein in its active state. The discovery provides a description of the mechanism behind the light-driven sodium ion transfer across the cell membrane.
In proteins, amino acids are held together by amide bonds. These bonds are long-lived and are robust against changes in temperature, acidity or alkalinity. Certain medicines make use of reactions involving amide bonds, but the bonds are so strong they actually slow down reactions, impeding the effectiveness of the medicines. Researchers devised a way to modify amide bonds with a twist to their chemical structure that speeds up reactions by 14 times.
MIT chemists have developed a protocol to rapidly produce protein chains up to 164 amino acids long. The flow-based technology could speed up drug development and allow scientists to design novel protein variants incorporating amino acids that don't occur naturally in cells.
Duke University researchers have developed a synthetic molecule that selectively controls the physiological rewards of cocaine in mice. It also may represent a new class of small-molecule drugs that are more specific and have fewer side effects. The molecule selectively activates beta-arrestin without activating the G protein, making its signal to the cell much more specific.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) severely impairs the quality of life in patients and often leads to various liver complications. Recently, scientists at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology designed a novel compound that can potentially treat NAFLD by targeting peripheral serotonin, which regulates lipid metabolism in the liver. They achieved this by structurally modifying an existing neurological drug such that it targets peripheral serotonin by minimizing brain penetration.