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Indian J Biochem Biophys. 1996 Feb;33(1):20-9.

Transmembrane domains participate in functions of integral membrane proteins.

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Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.


Integral membrane proteins have one or more transmembrane alpha-helical domains and carry out a variety of functions such as enzyme catalysis, transport across membranes, transducing signals as receptors of hormones and growth factors, and energy transfer in ATP synthesis. These transmembrane domains are not mere structural units anchoring the protein to the lipid bilayer but seem to-contribute in the overall activity. Recent findings in support of this are described using some typical examples-LDL receptor, growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase, HMG-CoA reductase, F0-ATPase and adrenergic receptors. The trends in research indicate that these transmembrane domains participate in a variety of ways such as a linker, a transducer or an exchanger in the overall functions of these proteins in transfer of materials, energy and signals.

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