Biologists have discovered how a family of proteins uses chemical energy to clamp down and pry open RNA strands.
The research finds that DEAD-box proteins, which are ancient enzymes found in all forms of life, function as recycling “nanopistons.”
“These findings could have far-reaching implications for our ability to control the activities of proteins in this class when their functions go awry in disease states,” says Michael Bender of the National Institutes of Health, which partially funded the University of Texas at Austin study.
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