Meet E Cadherin!

E Cadherin is a membrane protein that helps cells stick to other cells at cell junctions. Cell junctions are critical for forming and maintaining healthy tissues. Could you imagine if your skin cells suddenly couldn't stick together?! E Cadherin is one of the proteins that makes sure our skin, and every other part of our …

Meet ATP Synthase!

ATP synthase is a really, really important protein for life. That's because it makes ATP molecules, which are like the energy currency of the molecular world. (Essentially, ATP = Energy!) As you may expect, ATP synthase works in the inner membranes of mitochondria. If mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, ATP synthase is the …

Meet Collagen!

You have more collagen in your body than any other protein. You can find it almost everywhere, but a lot of it lives in your bones, skin, and cartilage. Although collagen is made by your cells, it works outside of the cells. Collagen is a structural protein, and it is the primary protein that forms …

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 …