CAN WE PREDICT HOW PROTEINS WILL FOLD?

10 02 2009

by: S. Andrews
Ahh the wonderful world of proteins. The complex building blocks of the human body that give each and every one of us our distinct original features. Made up of essential chemicals and amino acids, proteins are responsible for giving each of us our own unique identity.  Much has been discovered when it comes to proteins, however the world of proteins is still a complex universe filled with fascinating mystery. One mystery that still allures today’s scientific mind is predicting how proteins will fold.

Typically this question would be answered with a complex explanation filled with crazy words like DNA, tRNA, adenine, guanine, macromolecules, and globular. However, the answer is much easier to disseminate than what the Harvard graduate would like you to believe.

YES…we can predict how proteins will fold. “How you ask?” well it’s really quite simple. What many people don’t know is that proteins love to play poker. Yes poker. Texas Hold em, 5 card, Omaha, Stud, and even Indian poker. However, just because proteins like to play poker doesn’t mean they’re any good at it. In fact they are horrible because it’s so easy to predict when that cocky little protein bastard will fold its hand.  There are many ways to tell if a protein will fold but my favorite is when their chemical bonds start to unravel, then they get really nervous…..poop  peptides and throw their cards away. Other proteins before they fold start secreting globular’s all over the table……it’s really a huge mess.

So the next time you’re playing poker with a group of those obnoxious amino acids, and they start quivering, unraveling or pooping peptides then you know they don’t have a hand and you can go all in.

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