Proteins are dynamic structures whose function invariably depends on the interaction with other molecules. Many proteins function by the reversible binding with other molecules. The molecule that is bound by the protein is known as a ligand, which may also be another protein (Cooper, 2000). The transient interaction between proteins and ligands is crucial for the normal functioning of the cells. On the protein, the ligand binds to the binding site which is complementary to the ligand shape, size, charge, hydrophobic and hydrophilic character. In addition, the interaction between the functional protein and the ligand is specifically allowing it to discriminate other protein molecules. Regulation of this protein-ligand interaction is necessary for the regulation of the function of the cell (Cooper, 2000). This paper will discuss the various ways the cell regulates the functions of proteins.
Proteins are essential for the normal functioning of the cell. These include the cell wall, nucleus, enzymes and other essential components are made up of proteins. The biological function of proteins is regulated at the molecular interaction of the protein with the ligand. This includes causing conformational changes in the protein or through specific interactions with one or more additional ligands (Petsko, 2003). Enzymes are proteins that bind to other proteins causing chemical transformation in the proteins. Regulation of the function of proteins involves the alteration of the chemical interaction between the enzyme and the substrate.
The regulation of proteins plays a significant role in determining the functioning of the cell. Proteins are regulated at the gene expression level as well as the function level. Regulation at the gene expression level determines the quantity and quality of proteins that are synthesized by the cell. This involves the activity of transcription and translation factors. Transcription factors are involved in regulating the flow of information from DNA to the mRNA while the translation factors regulate the translation of mRNA to functional proteins (Merrick, 1992).
Cooper, G. (2000) The cell: A molecular approach, NY: Elsevier.
Eissa, S. (2012) Protein Phosphorylation and Dephosphorylation: A mechanism of acute and reversible regulation of protein function, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Merrick, C. (1992) “Mechanism and regulation of eukaryotic protein synthesis”, Microbiology molecular biology, Vol. 56, no. 2: 291-315.
Petsko, G. (2003) Protein Structure and function, London: Routledge.
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