Serpins are a superfamily of proteins with similar structures that were
first recognized for their protease inhibition activity and are found in
all kingdoms of life. Their unusual mechanism of action irreversibly
inhibits their target protease by undergoing a large conformational
change to disrupt its active site. This contrasts with the more common
competitive mechanism for protease inhibitors that bind to and block
access to the protease active site. Protease inhibition by serpins
controls an array of biological processes, including coagulation and
inflammation, and consequently these proteins are the target of medical
research. Their conformational-change mechanism confers certain
advantages, but it also has drawbacks: serpins are vulnerable to
mutations that can result in protein misfolding and the formation of
inactive long-chain polymers. Serpin polymerization not only reduces the
amount of active inhibitor, but also leads to accumulation of the
polymers, which can cause cell death and even organ failure.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpin>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León reached Florida,
becoming the first European known to do so, purportedly while searching
for the Fountain of Youth in the New World.
American Civil War: On the third try, Union Army forces
captured Petersburg, Virginia, although Confederate government officials
and most of the remaining Confederate army were able to escape.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted the country's
first national census.
Argentine special forces invaded the Falkland Islands, sparking
the Falklands War.
Over 60 tornadoes touched down in the central United States,
killing 27 people and causing about US$1.1 billion in damages.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(obsolete) One who binds or ties.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
No theater could sanely flourish until there was an umbilical
connection between what was happening on the stage and what was
happening in the world.