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Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2009;275:35-63. doi: 10.1016/S1937-6448(09)75002-6.

Viral channel-forming proteins.

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Institute of Biophotonics, School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.


Channel-forming proteins are found in a number of viral genomes. In some cases, their role in the viral life cycle is well understood, in some cases it needs still to be elucidated. A common theme is that their mode of action involves a change of electrochemical or proton gradient across the lipid membrane which modulates the viral or cellular activity. Blocking these proteins can be a suitable therapeutic strategy as for some viruses this may be "lethal." Besides the many biological relevant questions still to be answered, there are also many open questions concerning the biophysical side as well as structural information and the mechanism of function on a molecular level. The immanent biophysical issues are addressed and the work in the field is summarized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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