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Biochemistry: Flexing Muscle With Just One Amino Acid

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Science  05 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5245, pp. 31
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5245.31


A key player in muscle contraction is the protein troponin-C, whose contortions after binding calcium ions set off a cell's contraction. Now researchers have demonstrated that those contortions are produced by a single glutamic acid in the protein, which is attracted to the calcium and pulls part of the protein along with it. The result is the first to suggest that a large shape change in a protein can be controlled by just one amino acid.