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Pore-forming colicins and their relatives

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jeremy LakeyORCiD


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The pore-forming colicins, the first proteins that were capable of forming voltage-dependent ion channels to be sequenced, have turned out to be both less tractable and more mysterious than imagined; yet they have proved interesting at every step of their short journey from producing cell to vanquished target cell. Starting out as a remarkably extended water-soluble protein, the colicin molecule is designed to interact simultaneously with several components of the complex membrane of the target cell, transform itself into a membrane protein, and become an ion channel with inscrutable properties. Unraveling how it does all this appears to be leading us into the dark recesses of protein/protein and protein/membrane interaction, where lurk fundamental processes reluctantly waiting to be revealed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lakey JH, Slatin SL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current topics in Microbiology and Immunology

Year: 2001

Volume: 257

Pages: 131-161

ISSN (print): 0070-217X

Publisher: Springer New York LLC