What is the function of peripheral proteins?

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Peripheral membrane proteins are proteins that adhere only temporarily to the biological membrane with which they are associated. These molecules attach to integral membrane proteins, or penetrate the peripheral regions of the lipid bilayer. The regulatory protein subunits of many ion channels and transmembrane receptors, for example, may be defined as peripheral membrane proteins. In contrast to integral membrane proteins, peripheral membrane proteins tend to collect in the water-soluble component, or fraction, of all the proteins extracted during a protein purification procedure. Proteins with GPI anchors are an exception to this rule and can have purification properties similar to those of integral membrane proteins. The reversible attachment of proteins to biological membranes has been shown to regulate cell signaling and many other important cellular events, through a variety of mechanisms. For example, the close association between many enzymes and biological membranes may ... more
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