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Special Issue "Advances in Membrane Protein Research"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Dario Mizrachi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA
Interests: membrane proteins; tight junction; synthetic biology; barriology; blood–brain barrier; protein engineering; apoptosis; VDAC1

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Integral membrane proteins represent one-third of all open frames in sequenced genomes. This is in contrast to their immense importance in medicine, where an estimate of 60–70% of current drug targets are based on membrane proteins. To ensure adequate drug design, analysis of the structure and function of membrane proteins is essential. The advent of new tools and technologies for determining the structural biology of membrane proteins has led to a significant increase in the number of structures deposited to the Protein Data Bank during the past decade. Additionally, the “Resolution Revolution” brought about by single-particle Cryo-EM techniques continues to make progress, with the recently reported 1.7 Å resolution of the GABAA receptor structure. Nevertheless, our ability to take advantage of these methods is hindered in part by a lack of generally applicable methods for overexpression and purification, which are critical steps preceding functional and structural analysis. Thus, the bottlenecks prior to determining a membrane protein’s structure or characterizing its function remain. There is also an urgent need to improve the production of a sufficient amount of active membrane proteins. These limitations can be overcome through the development of new ideas, such as cell-free systems or amphipathic nanoparticles.

Prof. Dr. Dario Mizrachi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • integral membrane proteins
  • structural determination
  • function determination
  • recombinant expression
  • detergent
  • lipid vesicle
  • lipid cubic phase
  • amphipathic nanoparticles

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Two Motors and One Spring: Hypothetic Roles of Non-Muscle Myosin II and Submembrane Actin-Based Cytoskeleton in Cell Volume Sensing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 7967; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22157967 - 26 Jul 2021
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Changes in plasma membrane curvature and intracellular ionic strength are two key features of cell volume perturbations. In this hypothesis we present a model of the responsible molecular apparatus which is assembled of two molecular motors [non-muscle myosin II (NMMII) and protrusive actin [...] Read more.
Changes in plasma membrane curvature and intracellular ionic strength are two key features of cell volume perturbations. In this hypothesis we present a model of the responsible molecular apparatus which is assembled of two molecular motors [non-muscle myosin II (NMMII) and protrusive actin polymerization], a spring [a complex between the plasma membrane (PM) and the submembrane actin-based cytoskeleton (smACSK) which behaves like a viscoelastic solid] and the associated signaling proteins. We hypothesize that this apparatus senses changes in both the plasma membrane curvature and the ionic strength and in turn activates signaling pathways responsible for regulatory volume increase (RVI) and regulatory volume decrease (RVD). During cell volume changes hydrostatic pressure (HP) changes drive alterations in the cell membrane curvature. HP difference has opposite directions in swelling versus shrinkage, thus allowing distinction between them. By analogy with actomyosin contractility that appears to sense stiffness of the extracellular matrix we propose that NMMII and actin polymerization can actively probe the transmembrane gradient in HP. Furthermore, NMMII and protein-protein interactions in the actin cortex are sensitive to ionic strength. Emerging data on direct binding to and regulating activities of transmembrane mechanosensors by NMMII and actin cortex provide routes for signal transduction from transmembrane mechanosensors to cell volume regulatory mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Membrane Protein Research)
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