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Nature. 1991 May 30;351(6325):414-6.

Membrane protein association by potential intramembrane charge pairs.

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Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


The transmembrane domain of the alpha chain of the T-cell receptor is responsible both for its assembly with the CD3 delta chain and for rapid degradation of the unassembled chain within the endoplasmic reticulum. The determinant for both assembly and degradation is located in a segment of eight residues containing two basic amino acids. We show here that placement of a single basic residue in the transmembrane domain of the Tac antigen can induce interaction with the CD3 chain, through its transmembrane acidic residue. This interaction is most favoured when the interacting residues are located at the same level in the membrane. The ability to induce protein-protein interaction by placing charge pairs within transmembrane domains suggests an approach to producing artificial dimers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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