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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2005 Feb;15(1):35-41.

Natively unfolded proteins.

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  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA. enzyme@cats.ucsc.edu


It is now clear that a significant fraction of eukaryotic genomes encode proteins with substantial regions of disordered structure. In spite of the lack of structure, these proteins nevertheless are functional; many are involved in critical steps of the cell cycle and regulatory processes. In general, intrinsically disordered proteins interact with a target ligand (often DNA) and undergo a structural transition to a folded form when bound. Several features of intrinsically disordered proteins make them well suited to interacting with multiple targets and to cell regulation. New algorithms have been developed to identify disordered regions of proteins and have demonstrated their presence in cancer-associated proteins and proteins regulated by phosphorylation.

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