Molecular Mechanism of Sphingomyelin-Specific Membrane Binding and Pore Formation by Actinoporins

  • Biserka Bakrač
  • Gregor Anderluh
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 677)


Actinoporins are potent pore-forming toxins produced by sea anemones. They readily form pores in membranes that contain sphingomyelin. Molecular mechanism of pore formation involves recognition of membrane sphingomyelin, firm binding to the membrane accompanied by the transfer of the N-terminal region to the lipid-water interface and oligomerization of three to four monomers with accompanying pore formation. Actinoporins are an important example of α-helical pore forming toxins, since the final conductive pathway is formed by amphipathic α-helices. Recent structural data indicates that actinoporins are not restricted to sea anemones, but are present also in other organisms. They are becoming an important tool and model system, due to their potency, specificity and similarity to other proteins.


Pore Formation Membrane Binding Agaricus Bisporus Surface Plasmon Resonance Analysis Model Lipid Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovania
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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