Incredible discoveries in the field of genetics do not happen so often - it would seem that you can still know about the human body? Therefore, each time such findings become a sensation. As in the case of a recent study by American scientists from Stanford, found in the human microflora of four thousand unknown to science protein families.
Usually, geneticists are afraid to deal with proteins less than 50 amino acids because there is always a risk to take one gene for a single gene. For this reason, the database of short proteins known to scientists is small - the existing data are not enough to open new protein families on the principle of similarity with the previously studied ones. However, the scientific group of Stanford University still risked "scour" the human microbiome for new proteins.
"Short proteins in scientific bases are quite small, so to look for new ones based on similarities with already known ones is a failure in the pursuit of good results. For the same reason, mass spectrometry does not work. In this case, those short proteins that we can detect usually play an important role in the body. For example, they participate in intercellular communication processes," said the lead author of the study, Hila Sberbank.
The new study was an incredible success: geneticists found 4,539 previously unknown clusters, each belonging to a separate protein family. Together, scientists have found more than 2.5 million new short proteins. What exactly do these proteins in the human body — is unclear. But, according to Hila Sberbank and her colleagues, at least 30% of them participate in the interaction between cells. Still, some part of structures forces some bacteria to fight with others. That is, all the compounds found are most likely responsible for the communication of different elements of the microbiota.
The question remains how cells with bacteria use open protein compounds and how they receive signals from each other. Search for the answer and will be engaged in genetics, simultaneously conducting new research. In theory, the study of these proteins will create new, more advanced types of drugs that will be more accurate than ever "hit the target".