Focus on protein folding in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology

The art of paper folding is a useful way to illustrate some concepts about protein folding in the cell, according to June’s issue of Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. “When all goes well, you end up with a beautiful and functional structure. When things go wrong (misfolding), you may get a crumpled mess that needs to be smoothed out (unfolding) to try to start the process over again (refolding), or you may just give up and feed it to the shredder for recycling (degradation). Some unfolded or misfolded conformations can aggregate and generate forms that are difficult to degrade, akin to a pile of sheets glued together, and cause cellular toxicity or death. 


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