Proteins are extremely important organiccompounds that regulate almost all processes occurring inside our body. Despite the fact that quite a lot is known about these compounds, scientists continue to discover new properties and possibilities of proteins. For example, not so long ago, a team of researchers from the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Washington created a new artificial protein that, when interacting with ordinary cells, causes changes, turning them into “smart” ones.
What are smart cells
If you try to explain in simple words, then“Smart” cells are cells that have a certain element of independence. That is, they are able to do something without any “commands” from our body. During recent studies, a new artificial protein has been created that changes the very principle of the operation of living cells, giving them the opportunity to "understand" that some changes have occurred in the environment.
How does artificial protein work?
New artificial protein called LOCKR(Latching Orthogonal Cage / Key pRotein) and it consists of several molecules, each of which plays a role. These roles can be called “trap”, “key” and “lock”. The first is needed in order to connect with the cell needed for further change. A “lock” keeps the functional portion of the protein inactive. When LOCKR approaches the desired cell and penetrates into it, the "key" unlocks the "lock", and this leads to the fact that the protein begins to change the cell from the inside, endowing it with one or more new functions, including: activation or deactivation of certain genes, self-destruction certain cells or proteins, making the right compounds, and so on.
See also: A new type of cell has been discovered that can save thousands of lives. And these are not stem cells.
LOCKR protein technology itself has receivedname degronLOCKR. The objective of this system is to change the production of certain types of cellular proteins. For example, if the concentration of protein necessary for cell growth decreases, thanks to LOCKR, the cell itself can “understand” that “something is wrong” with its work and this will automatically rebuild the metabolism so that everything returns to normal.
Why is it necessary
One possible application of technology maybecome rehabilitation of patients who have suffered a particular brain injury. The fact is that when the brain is damaged (for example, due to a stroke), then such an affected brain gives commands to the whole body much worse, which negatively affects the metabolism as a whole. LOCKR can help in this case and control the metabolism and the work of cells on the periphery without commands from the central nervous system.
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