Monday, November 19, 2007

The Protein-Folding Metasystem

I'm just beginning to read the literature on protein folding. It's all a bit boggling. When I was in grad school, we didn't know about chaperones. (Take that any way you want.) It was more-or-less assumed that proteins folded as they formed on the ribosome, and that's that.

It seems the protein-folding system has many components: ribosome, chaperones, enzyme substrates (perhaps), water, ions, post-processing enzymes, etc. I start to get a mental picture of a ribosome being encased in a tRNA pseudo-shell, inside a chaperone-foam, everything fairly tightly packed.

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