The concept of allosteric interaction and its consequences for the chemistry of the brain
Throughout this Reflections article, I have tried to follow up on the genesis in the 1960s and subsequent evolution of the concept of allosteric interaction and to examine its consequences within the past decades, essentially in the field of the neuroscience. The main conclusion is that allosteric mechanisms built on similar structural principles operate in bacterial regulatory enzymes, gene repressors (and the related nuclear receptors), rhodopsin, G-protein-coupled receptors, neurotransmitter receptors, ion channels, and so on from prokaryotes up to the human brain yet with important features of their own. Thus, future research on these basic cybernetic sensors is expected to develop in two major directions: at the elementary level, toward the atomic structure and molecular dynamics of the conformational changes involved in signal recognition and transduction, but also at a higher level of organization, the contribution of allosteric mechanisms to the modulation of brain functions.
J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 20;288(38):26969-86. doi: 10.1074/jbc.X113.503375. Epub 2013 Jul PMCID: PMC3779700 [Available on 2014/9/20].
From the College de France, 75005 Paris and the Institut Pasteur, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.