Protein cooperation: from neurons to networks

Nadia D'Ambrosi, Cinzia Volonte', Susanna Amadio

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

13 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

A constant pattern through the development of cellular life is that not only cells but also subcellular components such as proteins, either being enzymes, receptors, signaling or structural proteins, strictly cooperate. Discerning how protein cooperation originated and propagates over evolutionary time, how proteins work together to a shared outcome far beyond mere interaction, thus represents a theoretical and experimental challenge for evolutionary, molecular, and computational biology, and a timely fruition also for biotechnology. In this review, we describe some basic principles sustaining not only cellular but especially protein cooperative behavior, with particular emphasis on neurobiological systems. We illustrate experimental results and numerical models substantiating that bench research, as well as computer analysis, indeed concurs in recognizing the natural propensity of proteins to cooperate. At the cellular level, we exemplify network connectivity in the thalamus, hippocampus and basal ganglia. At the protein level, we depict numerical models about the receptosome, the protein machinery connecting neurotransmitters or growth factors to specific, unique downstream effector proteins. We primarily focus on the purinergic P2/P1 receptor systems for extracellular purine and pyrimidine nucleotides/nucleosides. By spanning concepts such as single-molecule biology to membrane computing, we seek to stimulate a scientific debate on the implications of protein cooperation in neurobiological systems.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)61-71
Numero di pagine11
RivistaProgress in Neurobiology
Volume86
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2008

Keywords

  • COMBINATORIAL RECEPTOR WEB
  • MEMBRANE COMPUTING
  • PURINERGIC RECEPTORS

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