Three-part inventions: intracellular signaling and induced proximity

Trends Biochem Sci. 1996 Nov;21(11):418-22. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(96)20027-1.


Everyone has had the experience of stoking a fire; putting the logs close together causes flames to appear from previously dying embers. In a similar way, mere proximity might mediate qualitative biological responses. We discuss natural molecules that appear to have arisen to bring two proteins together and illustrate how this simple mechanism can be used to control a wide variety of biological processes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Isomerases / chemistry
  • Amino Acid Isomerases / metabolism
  • Antigens / metabolism
  • Biological Evolution
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Drug Design
  • Genes, MHC Class I
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / chemistry
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Peptidylprolyl Isomerase
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tacrolimus Binding Proteins


  • Antigens
  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Amino Acid Isomerases
  • Tacrolimus Binding Proteins
  • Peptidylprolyl Isomerase