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A drug for when myosin starts actin up

J. Harry Caufield

Here's the slightly overstated science headline of the day: "Protein folding: Bringing dead proteins back to life". This is actually an overview of a larger scientific paper in one of my favorite newer life science publications, eLife.

The hyperbole isn't entirely undeserved as this is some pretty neat stuff. Myosin, famous for its role of moving things about inside cells, appears to gain efficiency and stability when a small molecule called EMD 57033 is around. This small molecule isn't a new discovery and has been studied for at least twenty years. What's new is its potential role as a pharmacological chaperone. Cells produce classes of proteins known as chaperones to keep proteins from misbehaving, especially when these proteins are being assembled and often after stressful circumstances (i.e., heat shock). EMD 57033 isn't naturally occurring in cells but it may serve a similar function as a drug.