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Expert Rev Proteomics. 2010 Aug;7(4):543-64. doi: 10.1586/epr.10.36.

Targeting intrinsically disordered proteins in neurodegenerative and protein dysfunction diseases: another illustration of the D(2) concept.

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Institute for Intrinsically Disordered Protein Research, Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


Many biologically active proteins, which are usually called intrinsically disordered or natively unfolded proteins, lack stable tertiary and/or secondary structure under physiological conditions in vitro. Their functions complement the functional repertoire of ordered proteins, with intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) often being involved in regulation, signaling and control. Their amino acid sequences and compositions are very different from those of ordered proteins, making reliable identification of IDPs possible at the proteome level. IDPs are highly abundant in various human diseases, including neurodegeneration and other protein dysfunction maladies and, therefore, represent attractive novel drug targets. Some of the aspects of IDPs, as well as their roles in neurodegeneration and protein dysfunction diseases, are discussed in this article, together with the peculiarities of IDPs as potential drug targets.

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