An escape signal for the nematode: Artificial intelligence helps elucidate structure of a novel light sensor

The small Caenorhabditis elegans nematode avoids light. While it does not have eyes, some of its cells contain a protein called LITE-1, which warns it of the sun, whose rays are dangerous for the animal. A team of scientists from Goethe University Frankfurt, the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, and the Simons Foundation’s Flatiron Institute in New York has now elucidated the structure of LITE-1 – a completely new type of light-controlled ion channel. Instead of biochemical experiments, the researchers used artificial intelligence to elucidate the structure, and verified their structural model using biological experiments.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft