08:12pm Wednesday 16 August 2017

Putting the lid on the proteasome, the cell’s garbage disposal

A team of Yale researchers is using advanced chemistry and imaging technology to describe how the lid forms and then joins to the base. Surprisingly, the crucial final step in assembly is triggered by the binding of a single helix, or spiral-shaped molecule, to the lid precursor, Mark Hochstrasser and team report in the Oct. 8 issue of the journal Cell.

“It is like when a thumb is lifted from a fist, the hand can open and go to work,” Hochstrasser said. The dramatic protein reconfiguration is similar to that seen in formation of viral particles and may be common to all forms of life.

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