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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Mar;10(3):228-34. doi: 10.1038/nrm2633. Epub 2009 Feb 4.

Single proteins might have dual but related functions in intracellular and extracellular microenvironments.

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  • 1Derek C. Radisky and Melody Stallings-Mann are at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.


The maintenance of organ homeostasis and the control of an appropriate response to environmental alterations require the intimate coordination of cellular functions and tissue organization. An important component of this coordination could be provided by proteins that can have distinct but linked functions on both sides of the plasma membrane. We present a model that proposes that unconventional secretion provides a mechanism through which single proteins can integrate complex tissue functions.

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