The degradation of proteins and the re-use of their basic building blocks is a process that is a matter of survival in cells. Researchers at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry present a detailed structure of the human protein recycling machine, the so-called 26S proteasome, in near-atomic resolution in their latest article published in PNAS
. The high-resolution structure enabled the scientists to visualize the molecular energy carriers bound to the 26S proteasome, which provide the power for proteasome function. Detailed knowledge of the exact structure is the basis for the development of drugs for the treatment of cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.