Megakines as a tool for the structural analysis of receptor:chemokine complexes
Chemokines are small, secreted cytokines that activate membrane receptors of the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily. The chemokine–receptor interactions control many physiological processes and are implicated in many pathologies, including atherosclerosis, inflammatory diseases, HIV infection and cancer. The interactions of 50 chemokines and 20 receptors identified in humans require precise orchestration as a chemokine may bind to several receptors, while a single chemokine receptor has multiple ligands. Cryo-electron microscopy is a ground-breaking technique for elucidating molecular structures, but the analysis of small proteins like receptor:chemokine complexes is still challenging. The EU-funded MEGAKINE project proposes an innovative approach to increase chemokine size through a rigid insertion into a bulky scaffold protein, creating megakines to facilitate the structural analysis of chemokine receptors.
Fields of science
- medical and health scienceshealth sciencesinflammatory diseases
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicinecardiologycardiovascular diseasesarteriosclerosis
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculesproteins
- medical and health scienceshealth sciencesinfectious diseasesRNA virusesHIV
- medical and health sciencesbasic medicinepathology