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Monomer Addition Mechanism

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This is a proposed monomer addition mechanism of inclusion body formation, created in Autodesk Maya. This animation is a simplification of the main concept.

Inclusion bodies are large, insoluble clumps of misfolded protein that can be found in cells such as E. coli. Causes for protein misfolding may include heat shock or overexpression of that protein.

The objects are misfolded protein. Red represents hydrophobic side chains and blue represent hydrophilic side chains.

Note that the protein starts off with a nucleation process, which then begins to attract more misfolded hydrophobic protein as they attempt to "hide" the side chains from water. This increasingly growing mass slowly collects more proteins, forming small clumps that begin to stick to one another. Eventually the inclusion body grows so large that they become visible within the cell. This inclusion body may end up growing so large as to cause the cell to burst and die.

This animation does not show the cell lysing, but hopefully demonstrates that the inclusion body can grow large enough to be seen under a microscope. Centrifugation can actually isolate these aggregate proteins from cells debris.

Visit our website at http://2010.igem.org/Team:Calgary to learn more about our research project and synthetic biology!

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igem 2010 calgary monomer addition protein misfolding animation autodesk maya

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