A protein chaperone


Microscopy helps reveal a potential therapeutic for serious illnesses.


Combined crystal and cryo-electron microscopy reveals the intricate structure of protein Hsp104.

Grigore Pintilie / Stanford University

This is an extreme close-up of a protein called Hsp104, found in a fungus called Calcarisporiella Thermophila. The extraordinarily detailed image is the result of a combination of X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), developed by researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, in Illinois.

Hsp104 is a type of protein known as a chaperone, because it assists other proteins to fold correctly, and can also repair those are malformed. It is thought that chaperones have potential to be adapted to fight the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's.

Details of the research are published in the journal Structure.

  1. https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0969212618304209
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