IMMUNOLOGY / STATE OF THE ART PAPER
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Ankyrins are adaptor molecules that in eukaryotic cells form complexes with ion channel proteins, cell adhesion and signalling molecules and components of the cytoskeleton. They play a pivotal role as scaffolding proteins, in the structural anchoring to the muscle membrane, in muscle development, neurogenesis and synapse formation. Dysfunction of ankyrins is implicated in numerous diseases such as hereditary spherocytosis, neurodegeneration of Purkinje cells, cardiac arrhythmia, Brugada syndrome, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia, congenital myopathies and congenital heart disease as well as cancers. Detecting either down- or over-expression of ankyrins and ergo their use as biomarkers can provide a new paradigm in the diagnosis of these diseases. This paper provides an outline of knowledge about the structure of ankyrins, and by making use of recent experimental research studies critically discusses their role in several health disorders. Moreover, therapeutic options utilizing engineered ankyrins, designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins), are discussed.
eISSN:1896-9151
ISSN:1734-1922