Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

As I understand it, the DNA only contains the sequence of amino-acids from which the protein is built, not their folding instructions. Some proteins are also modified and/or cut in pieces by other proteins before reaching a functional state. Discovering how a protein folds, is a very complex problem, that would have been much easier if it were indeed encoded by the DNA. the website https://fold.it/portal/ gives a good introduction to the problem of protein folding.

My biochemistry education is 20 years old.. As you say DNA encodes the sequence of amino acids. Protein folding is a thermodynamic problem as parts of the protein stick to other parts and bonds try to achieve a low energy shape.

There are enzymes, co-enzymes, and other molecules that can help a protein to achieve its proper shape.

For many proteins, the sequence encodes the fold (many small proteins refold spontaneously with just their amino acid sequence). That proteases or other activations may be required to functionalize the protein is irrelevant- the sequence in the DNA causes the protein to fold to its preprotein state reversibly.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact