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Chapter 26 : Discussions about Proteins

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Discussions about Proteins, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

This chapter focuses on mother nature and the design of a regulatory enzyme. Jacques Monod was looking at a nascent science from his peculiar point of view, molecular evolution. Each new result was presented in the lecture as one tiny piece in the puzzle that Mother Nature had solved. Many scientists appreciate the Monod–Wyman–Changeux model (M–W–C model) because it is a simple, elegant, and imaginative proposal. The author feels sad that a very significant confrontation between two different approaches of molecular biology is reduced to a formal conflict between two hypothetical kinetic pathways. He thinks that what is really at stake is a triple issue. First, it is a good example of classical opposition between informative and selective theories in biology (in the M–W–C model, preexisting states are selected by small metabolites, the concentrations of which reflect the various physiological needs of the cell; according to Koshland and his collaborators, the ligand informs the protein structure and directs its conformational change). Second, they diverge on the basic unity or on the diversity of the structural solutions historically retained by evolution to solve a problem of regulation. Third, Monod’s theory is falsifiable: to refute it does not simply mean to show how significantly the real solutions differ from a model. In Monod, as a public man, the author found the basic need for creative freedom.

Citation: Baldwin R. 2003. Discussions about Proteins, p 243-248. In Ullmann A (ed), Origins of Molecular Biology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817763.ch26

Key Concept Ranking

Protein Folding
0.6333333
Proteins
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Citation: Baldwin R. 2003. Discussions about Proteins, p 243-248. In Ullmann A (ed), Origins of Molecular Biology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817763.ch26
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