Membrane proteins

Membrane proteins are proteins found in cell membranes, either at the surface or on intracellular organelles. Integral membrane proteins such as receptors and ion channels span the membrane. Peripheral membrane proteins, for example some signalling proteins, are tethered by an anchor, via a fatty acid, prenyl group, glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI) or a hydrophobic protein patch.

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News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The σ1 receptor, an endoplasmic reticulum–resident transmembrane protein, modulates many physiological and pathological processes and binds multiple drugs, but is nonetheless poorly understood. In a recent issue, Kruse and colleagues illustrate structural differences between agonist- and antagonist-bound receptor and propose that agonist binding may impair oligomerization, making a major step in understanding σ1 function. They also use a combination of kinetic and molecular dynamic modeling to explain how ligands access the binding pocket.

    • Felix J. Kim
    •  & Gavril W. Pasternak
  • News and Views |

    The polycystin complex structure has been solved at near-atomic resolution. Its surprising architecture provides new insights into the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of cation channels and the pathogenesis of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. This discovery should have a transformative impact on the development of treatment strategies to cure the disease.

    • Paul A. Welling