The Diverse Structures and Functions of Surfactant Proteins

Marieke Schor, Jack L Reid, Cait E MacPhee, Nicola R Stanley-Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surface tension at liquid-air interfaces is a major barrier that needs to be surmounted by a wide range of organisms; surfactant and interfacially active proteins have evolved for this purpose. Although these proteins are essential for a variety of biological processes, our understanding of how they elicit their function has been limited. However, with the recent determination of high-resolution 3D structures of several examples, we have gained insight into the distinct shapes and mechanisms that have evolved to confer interfacial activity. It is now a matter of harnessing this information, and these systems, for biotechnological purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-20
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in biochemical sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Journal Article
  • Review


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