Protein Biogenesis

Targeting heme insertion

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Science  11 Jun 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6547, pp. 1163-1164
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6547.1163-g

Many proteins require dedicated machinery to help them fold or insert cofactors. Sutherland et al. reconstituted one such system, cytochrome c (cyt c) synthase, from both human mitochondria and a pathogenic bacterium in vitro and investigated their substrate specificities. Under these conditions, the human enzyme was far more permissive, accepting a wide range of cyt c peptide variants, as long as a thiol-containing amino acid was present in a particular motif. Unlike full-length cyt c, small peptides cannot be released from the enzyme. Designing safe and effective inhibitors of this system will require taking advantage of the differences in selectivity between species.

eLife 10, e64891 (2021).

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