Flavodoxins: sequence, folding, binding, function and beyond
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Flavodoxins are electron-transfer proteins involved in a variety of photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic reactions in bacteria, whereas, in eukaryotes, a descendant of the flavodoxin gene helps build multidomain proteins. The redox activity of flavodoxin derives from its bound flavin mononucleotide cofactor (FMN), whose intrinsic properties are profoundly modified by the host apoprotein. This review covers the very exciting last decade of flavodoxin research, in which the folding pathway, the structure and stability of the apoprotein, the mechanism of FMN recognition, the interactions that stabilize the functional complex and tailor the redox potentials, and many details of the binding and electron transfer to partner proteins have been revealed. The next decade should witness an even deeper understanding of the flavodoxin molecule and a greater comprehension of its many physiological roles. The fact that flavodoxin is essential for the survival of some human pathogens could make it a drug target on its own.
Key words.Flavodoxin protein folding and stability protein ligand interaction electron transfer ferredoxin FNR Helicobacter pylori drug target
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