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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Oct 18;1482(1-2):9-24.

The lipocalin protein family: structural and sequence overview.

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The Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research, Newbury, Berkshire, UK.


Lipocalins are remarkably diverse at the sequence level yet have highly conserved structures. Most lipocalins share three characteristic conserved sequence motifs - the kernel lipocalins - while others are more divergent family members - the outlier lipocalins - typically sharing only one or two. This classification is a useful tool for analysing the family, and within these large sets are smaller groups sharing much higher levels of sequence similarity. The lipocalins are also part of a larger protein superfamily: the calycins, which includes the fatty acid binding proteins, avidins, a group of metalloproteinase inhibitors, and triabin. The superfamily is characterised by a similar structure (a repeated +1 topology beta-barrel) and by the conservation of a remarkable structural signature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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