Protein Folding, Interrupted

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Science  14 Feb 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6172, pp. 743-744
DOI: 10.1126/science.1249405

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Globular proteins start their lives as linear chains of amino acids coming off the ribosome. Proteins must then fold into specific three-dimensional structures to be functional. In 1957, the first such structure, of myoglobin, was determined at atomic resolution (1). Fifty-six years and 90,000-plus protein structures later (2), we have a very good idea of the necessary requirements for a stable, specific structure. Key to these requirements is the formation of a well-packed, largely anhydrous core (3). Yet, on page 795 of this issue, Sun et al. (4) report an antifreeze protein with a core mostly consisting of water.

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