The stomatin-domain defines a family of proteins that are found in all classes of life. The ubiquity of stomatin-family proteins and their high degree of homology suggest that they have a unifying cellular function, which has yet to be defined. The five stomatin family proteins in mammals show varying expression patterns and different sub-cellular distributions. In surveying the relevant literature, three common themes emerge; stomatin family members are oligomeric; they mostly localise to membrane domains; and in many cases, they have been shown to modulate ion channel activity. How oligomerisation and membrane localisation contribute to the modulation of channel function is unclear to date. Future studies into the precise structure and mechanism of stomatin-like proteins need to address these important questions to clarify the detailed cellular function of stomatin-domain containing proteins.
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