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Many Proteins Exist in a State of "Disorder" and Yet are Functional, Washington University in St. Louis Study



9/21/2012 7:28:09 AM

Students are taught that a protein’s three-dimensional shape is critical to its function, but it turns out that many proteins exist in a state of “disorder” and yet are functional. If you open any biology textbook to the section on proteins, you will learn that a protein is made up of a sequence of amino acids, that the sequence determines how the chain of amino acids folds into a compact structure, and that the folded protein’s structure determines its function. In other words sequence encodes structure and function derives from structure. But the textbooks may have to be rewritten.



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