Membrane interactions of intrinsically disordered proteins: The example of alpha-synuclein.

08:00 EDT 13th May 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Membrane interactions of intrinsically disordered proteins: The example of alpha-synuclein."

Peripheral membrane proteins associate reversibly with biological membranes that, compared to protein binding partners, are structurally labile and devoid of specific binding pockets. Membranes in different subcellular compartments vary primarily in their chemical composition and physical properties, and recognition of these features is therefore critical for allowing such proteins to engage their proper membrane targets. Intrinsically disordered proteins are well-suited to accomplish this task using highly specific and low-to-moderate-affinity interactions governed by recognition principles that are both similar to and different from those that mediate the membrane interactions of rigid proteins. IDPs have also evolved multiple mechanisms to regulate membrane (and other) interactions and achieve their impressive functional diversity. Moreover, IDP-membrane interactions may have a kinetic advantage in fast processes requiring rapid control of such interactions, such as synaptic transmission or signaling. Herein we review the biophysics, regulation and functional implications of IDP-membrane interactions and include a brief overview of some of the methods that can be used to study such interactions. At each step, we use the example of alpha-synuclein, a protein involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and one of the best characterized membrane-binding IDP, to illustrate some of the principles discussed.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Biochimica et biophysica acta. Proteins and proteomics
ISSN: 1878-1454


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Functional proteins that do not have unique, stable, folded, three-dimensional native structures or that possess non-ordered regions under physiological conditions. They are characterized by extraordinary structural flexibility and plasticity, which enable them to adopt different conformations in response to different stimuli or different interactions.

A homolog of ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN that plays a role in neurofilament network integrity. It is overexpressed in a variety of human NEOPLASMS and may be involved in modulating AXON architecture during EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT and in the adult. Gamma-Synuclein may also activate SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION PATHWAYS associated with ETS-DOMAIN PROTEIN ELK-1.

A synuclein that is a major component of LEWY BODIES that plays a role in neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.

A ubiquitously expressed family of heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein alpha subunits that signal through interactions with a variety of second messengers as GTPASE-ACTIVATING PROTEINS; GUANINE NUCLEOTIDE EXCHANGE FACTORS; and HEAT SHOCK PROTEINS. The G12-G13 part of the name is also spelled G12/G13.

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