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Molecular bodyguards for immature membrane proteins

During their formation within the cells, many proteins rely on the assistance of molecular protectors, so-called . They help the proteins to fold correctly and thus ensure the right final structure. The roles of in have long remained unclear. Researchers at the , , and at ETH Zurich have now shown how chaperones stabilize an immature bacterial and guide it in the right folding direction, thus protecting it from misfolding. Their study was recently published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

Molecular Bodyguards
Chaperones (light blue) promote the insertion and folding of the bacterial membrane protein FhuA (yellow).
Image credit:University of Basel, Biozentrum