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Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2006 Feb;13(2):112-6. Epub 2006 Jan 22.

Identification and evolution of dual-topology membrane proteins.

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Center for Biomembrane Research, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, AlbaNova, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.


Integral membrane proteins are generally believed to have unique membrane topologies. However, it has been suggested that dual-topology proteins that adopt a mixture of two opposite orientations in the membrane may exist. Here we show that the membrane orientations of five dual-topology candidates identified in Escherichia coli are highly sensitive to changes in the distribution of positively charged residues, that genes in families containing dual-topology candidates occur in genomes either as pairs or as singletons and that gene pairs encode two oppositely oriented proteins whereas singletons encode dual-topology candidates. Our results provide strong support for the existence of dual-topology proteins and shed new light on the evolution of membrane-protein topology and structure.

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