Multiple Forms of Multifunctional Proteins in Health and Disease

Adriana Espinosa-Cantú, Erika Cruz-Bonilla, Lianet Noda-Garcia, Alexander DeLuna*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Protein science has moved from a focus on individual molecules to an integrated perspective in which proteins emerge as dynamic players with multiple functions, rather than monofunctional specialists. Annotation of the full functional repertoire of proteins has impacted the fields of biochemistry and genetics, and will continue to influence basic and applied science questions – from the genotype-to-phenotype problem, to our understanding of human pathologies and drug design. In this review, we address the phenomena of pleiotropy, multidomain proteins, promiscuity, and protein moonlighting, providing examples of multitasking biomolecules that underlie specific mechanisms of human disease. In doing so, we place in context different types of multifunctional proteins, highlighting useful attributes for their systematic definition and classification in future research directions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number451
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Espinosa-Cantú, Cruz-Bonilla, Noda-Garcia and DeLuna.


  • gene ontology
  • mechanisms of disease
  • moonlighting proteins
  • multidomain proteins
  • pleiotropy
  • protein promiscuity


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