‘Frankenstein protein’ defies biology textbooks

‘Frankenstein protein’ defies biology textbooks – life – 07 September 2006 – New Scientist

This article relates a research finding that the sequence of amino acids in a protein is not completely determined by the sequence of bases in our DNA — some post-transcriptional shuffling can be done by proteasomes. In particular, the research was looking at leukemia cells. The presence of altered antigenic protein on the cell surface means that many more different proteins can be produced from one DNA template.

The article says that the finding makes a peptide vaccine targeting such antigenic proteins more applicable. I think I need to locate my copy of Science to check out what they say in the original, since i’m not making sense of it in the news report. Any molbio sorts who would like to fill me in, please leave a comment. It seems to me that a peptide vaccine would be just as liable to be rendered ineffective as particular antibodies in the immune system when the matching antigen may be changed.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.