Friday, November 20, 2009

Protein motor springs to action

Using a state-of-the-art protein crystallography beamline at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, researchers have captured a critical action shapshot of an enzyme that is vital to the survival of all biological cells. The atomic-level action of a remarkable class of ring-shaped protein motors has been uncovered by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) using a state-of-the-art protein crystallography beamline at the Advanced Light Source (ALS). These protein motors play pivotal roles in gene expression and replication, and are vital to the survival of all biological cells, as well as infectious agents, such as the human papillomavirus, which has been linked to cervical cancer. More>