Report

Structure and activity of tryptophan-rich TSPO proteins

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6221, pp. 551-555
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa1534

Structural clues to protein function

Translocator protein (TSPO) is a mitochondrial membrane protein thought to transport cholesterol and porphyrins. Its detailed function remains unclear, but interest in it is high because TSPO is involved in a variety of human diseases. Two papers now present crystal structures of bacterial TSPOs. Li et al. show that a mutant that mimics a human single polymorphism associated with psychiatric disorders has structural changes in a region implicated in cholesterol binding. Guo et al. suggest that TSPO may be more than a transporter. They show how it catalyzes the degradation of porphyrins, a function that could be important in protection against oxidative stress.

Science, this issue p. 555, p. 551

View Full Text