The Secret Lives of Proteins

The Secret Lives of Proteins Recent research suggests that many structural and enzymatic proteins serve double or even triple duty (see Enzymatic Alter-Egos Unmasked). Three multifunctional proteins identified in higher animals are shown below. Gephyrin Proposed functions: ©2003 American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology  Trimeric structure of gephyrin's N-terminal domain in rat. Secondary structural elements are labeled for one monomer. Black arrows indicate the po

The Scientist Staff
Oct 5, 2003

The Secret Lives of Proteins

Recent research suggests that many structural and enzymatic proteins serve double or even triple duty (see Enzymatic Alter-Egos Unmasked). Three multifunctional proteins identified in higher animals are shown below.

Gephyrin

Proposed functions:

©2003 American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
 Trimeric structure of gephyrin's N-terminal domain in rat. Secondary structural elements are labeled for one monomer. Black arrows indicate the positions of proposed active sites. (M. Sola et al., J Biol Chem, 276:25294-301, 2001)

  • In neurons, forms a scaffold that stabilizes inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors by anchoring them to the cytoskeleton
  • Involved in synthesizing the molybdenum cofactor (Moco), a crucial component of certain enzymes that catalyze redox reactions
  • May regulate translational machinery synthesizing proteins in dendrites
  • May link neurotransmitter receptors to intracellular signaling proteins that regulate long-term synaptic changes (which underlie learning and memory)

 

Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein (WASP)

Proposed functions:

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