PerspectivePROTEIN FOLDING

A Glimpse of the Holy Grail?

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Science  23 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5389, pp. 642-643
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5389.642

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Summary

Every protein is folded in its "native" state. How the sequence of amino acids determines the folding conformation is an open question in biochemistry. Because of the huge number of possible foldings, computer simulation of the problem has been impossible. In his Perspective, Berendsen discusses results reported in the same issue by Duan and Kollman in which they used a computer model to simulate protein folding in a 36-residue protein. Although small, the protein contains 12,000 atoms, lending hope that computers methods may make some progress in the understanding of folding.