Meet IgG!

IgG is an abbreviation for immunoglobulin G. IgG is in the antibody family of proteins along with IgM, IgA, IgD, and IgE. Antibodies are proteins made by immune cells to recognize foreign objects in the body. They are secreted into the blood and circulated throughout the body so they can find those foreign objects. Each …

Meet ACE2!

ACE2 is short for Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2, because it "converts" the peptide angiotensin II into angiotensin. Angiotensin II tells your body's blood vessels to get smaller which raises blood pressure, but angiotensin tells them to get larger and lowers blood pressure. In this way, ACE2's job is to lower blood pressure. ACE2 lives in the …

Meet Spike!

Spike is a membrane protein found on the surface of coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19). Spike is responsible for bringing the virus inside of the host cell. Both the virus and the host cell are covered in a membrane, and Spike fuses the two membranes together so that viral contents can enter …

Meet Hexokinase!

Hexokinase is an enzyme (a protein that promotes a chemical reaction). Kinase enzymes add phosphate groups to other molecules, and hexokinase adds phosphate groups to glucose molecules. This is the first reaction that begins a long process of breaking down glucose sugars into useable energy. Hexokinase reaction Hexokinase works in the cytoplasm of cells. The …

Meet Actin!

There is more actin in an animal or plant cell than any other protein. This is because actin is an important component of the cell's cytoskeleton. Individual actin proteins string together to form actin filaments, sometimes called microfilaments. Much like your skeleton does for you, actin filaments in the cytoskeleton help the cell keep its …

Meet Myosin II!

Myosin II is a motor protein, which means it converts chemical energy into a mechanical response. Myosin II is a member of the myosin superfamily, and like its relatives, myosin II "walks" along tracks made of actin (learn about actin here). Myosin walks on actin. Myosin II is categorized as a muscle myosin because it …