protein folding problem

Cultural Dictionary

protein folding problem definition


One of the main unsolved problems in molecular biology, the protein folding problem deals with the question of predicting the three-dimensional shape of a protein molecule from the sequence of amino acids that make up the protein molecules. The main difficulty arises from the large number of interactions between different atoms in a protein molecule, a number that lies outside of the ability of modern computers to handle. (See also protein structure and proteomics.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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