Lessons from Viruses: Controlling the Function of Transmembrane Proteins by Interfering Transmembrane Helices
Abstract:Viral proteins sometimes interfere with human transmembrane receptors to gain access into a cell or they use transmembrane domains to interfere with cellular signal cascades in human cells. Such interference can lead to a deregulation of tightly regulated processes and eventually to different forms of cancer. There is still little knowledge about how proteins act and interact in biological membranes but the membrane environment restricts the fold and composition of membrane proteins when compared to water soluble proteins. These restrictions and a sometimes related functional principle of different viral transmembrane proteins for gaining access to a host cell or to intervene with cellular processes may offer a great opportunity to interfere with those processes in a simplified manner. A close collaboration of various disciplines may result in the development of drugs that specifically target membranes and interfere with viral transmembrane domains or even regulate the function of cellular membrane proteins. In this review we describe the function of interactions between human and viral membrane proteins in a cellular membrane, and perspectives to intervene with those processes are discussed.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Stefan-Meier-Strasse 19, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.
Publication date: April 1, 2008
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