April 21, 2014

Two Unfolded Proteins Meet

These animations show what happens to unfolded proteins when they meet one another. If the proteins reconfigure (wiggle around) at the same rate that they collide they will stick together (green strings), which can lead to diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. But if they reconfigure slower (blue) or faster (red) they are able to escape sticking. Some small molecules can stick to the protein and make them reconfigure faster to prevent sticking (changing green to red), potentially becoming drugs for these diseases.
Credit: Lisa Lapidus / Michigan State University
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