Proteins

Proteins are biopolymers of amino acids (polypeptides), joined by peptide bonds, that are generated by ribosomes. The amino acid sequence, encoded by its gene, determines a protein’s structure and function. Newly synthesized proteins can be modified by post-translational modification, altering its protein folding, stability and activity. Proteins often associate into protein–protein interaction networks for function.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments & Opinion |

    Most research aiming at understanding the molecular foundations of life and disease has focused on a limited set of increasingly well-known proteins while the biological functions of many others remain poorly understood. We propose to form the Understudied Protein Initiative with the objective of reducing the annotation gap by systematically associating uncharacterized proteins with proteins of known function, thereby laying the groundwork for future detailed mechanistic studies.

    • Georg Kustatscher
    • , Tom Collins
    •  & Juri Rappsilber
  • News & Views |

    The CRISPR–Cas enzyme Cas9 faces the challenge of identifying a specific nucleotide sequence within double-stranded DNA. New cryo-EM and biochemical studies show that in the earliest steps of binding, Cas9 bends the DNA and promotes unwinding of two base pairs, enabling it to efficiently scan the sequence of this critical region.

    • Selma Sinan
    •  & Rick Russell
  • Comments & Opinion |

    High-resolution structural information is critical for rapid development of vaccines and therapeutics against emerging human pathogens. Structural biology methods have been at the forefront of research on SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. These technologies will continue to be powerful tools to fend off future public health threats.

    • Jun Zhang
    •  & Bing Chen
    Nature Methods 19, 381-383
  • News & Views |

    Microproteins can be generated by a shift in the reading frame during translation. A chemoproteomics approach led to the identification of MINAS-60 as an alternative microprotein that regulates the assembly of the pre-60S ribosome.

    • Valdeko Kruusvee
    •  & Stephan Wenkel