Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 63, Issue 24, pp 2889–2900 | Cite as

Immunophilins: for the love of proteins



Immunophilins are chaperones that may also exhibit peptidylprolyl isomerase (PPIase) activity. This review summarizes our knowledge of the two largest families of immunophilins, namely cyclophilin and FK506-binding protein, and a novel chimeric dual-family immunophilin, named FK506- and cyclosporin-binding protein (FCBP). The larger members of each family are modular in nature, consisting of multiple PPIase and/or protein-protein interaction domains. Despite the apparent difference in their sequence and three-dimensional structure, the three families encode similar enzymatic and biological functions. Recent studies have revealed that many immunophilins possess a chaperone function independent of PPIase activity. Knockout animal studies have confirmed multiple essential roles of immunophilins in physiology and development. An immunophilin is indeed a natural ‘protein-philin’ (Greek ‘philin’ = friend) that interacts with proteins to guide their proper folding and assembly.


Immunophilin PPIase chaperone cyclophilin (Cyp) FK506-binding protein (FK506) trigger factor TPR domain dual-family immunophilin protein folding 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSB 2370)University of South Alabama, College of MedicineMobileUSA

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