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Lessons from Viruses: Controlling the Function of Transmembrane Proteins by Interfering Transmembrane Helices

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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.

Keywords: BPV; HIV; SFFV; Virus; fusion; membrane; peptide; receptor tyrosine kinase

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986708783955545

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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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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