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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Apr;1803(4):520-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2010.01.022. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

Moonlighting proteins: an intriguing mode of multitasking.

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  • 1Molecular Cell Biology, GBB, University of Groningen, Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, P.O. Box 14, 9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands.


Proteins are macromolecules, which perform a large variety of functions. Most of them have only a single function, but an increasing number of proteins are being identified as multifunctional. Moonlighting proteins form a special class of multifunctional proteins. They perform multiple autonomous and often unrelated functions without partitioning these functions into different domains of the protein. Striking examples are enzymes, which in addition to their catalytic function are involved in fully unrelated processes such as autophagy, protein transport or DNA maintenance. In this contribution we present an overview of our current knowledge of moonlighting proteins and discuss the significant implications for biomedical and fundamental research.

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