Overview of the Physical State of Proteins Within Cells

Howard R. Petty1

1 Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Cell Biology
Unit Number:  Unit 5.1
DOI:  10.1002/0471143030.cb0501s00
Online Posting Date:  May, 2001
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Proteins, the end product of gene expression, play a pivotal role in cellular structure and function. To understand how proteins work it is necessary to understand their physical state within the cell. This unit reviews the classification of proteins, how that is related to the hydropathicity of the protein, other factors that affect the heterogeneity of proteins, protein assemblies, methods for altering the solubility of proteins, and limitations of in vitro manipulations of proteins.

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Table of Contents

  • Protein Classifications
  • Hydropathy Patterns Often Reflect a Protein's Classification
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Additional Factors Affecting the Physical Heterogeneity of Proteins
  • Protein Assemblies
  • Altering the Solubility of Proteins: Protein Extraction
  • Limitations of the In Vitro Manipulation of Proteins
  • Conclusions
  • Figures
  • Tables
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Literature Cited

Literature Cited
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   Petty, H.R. 1993. Molecular Biology of Membranes: Structure and Function. Plenum, New York.
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   Squire, J.M. and Vibert, P.J. (eds.) 1987. Fibrous Protein Structure. Academic Press, New York.
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Key References
   Racker, 1985. See above.
  A wonderful little book on membrane protein manipulation which disproves the hypothesis that scientists can't write.
   Tanford, C. 1961. Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules. Academic Press, New York.
  A rigorous introduction to the physical properties of proteins, which remains useful several decades later.
   Tanford, C. 1980. The Hydrophobic Effect. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
  A very readable introduction to the hydrophobic effect.
Internet Resources
  A user‐friendly protein database including two‐dimensional PAGE data and 3D protein structures.
  Contains protein crystallography data.
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