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Science. 1991 Jan 18;251(4991):283-7.

Chemistry and biology of the immunophilins and their immunosuppressive ligands.

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  • 1Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.


Cyclosporin A, FK506, and rapamycin are inhibitors of specific signal transduction pathways that lead to T lymphocyte activation. These immunosuppressive agents bind with high affinity to cytoplasmic receptors termed immunophilins (immunosuppressant binding proteins). Studies in this area have focused on the structural basis for the molecular recognition of immunosuppressants by immunophilins and the biological consequences of their interactions. Defining the biological roles of this emerging family of receptors and their ligands may illuminate the process of protein trafficking in cells and the mechanisms of signal transmission through the cytoplasm.

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