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Pin 1, or peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase (PPIase), isomerizes only phospho-Serine/Threonine-Proline motifs. The enzyme binds to a subset of proteins and thus plays a role as a post phosphorylation control in regulating protein function. Studies have shown that the deregulation of Pin1 may play a pivotal role in various diseases. Notably, the up-regulation of Pin1 may be implicated in certain cancers, and the down-regulation of Pin1 may be implicated in Alzheimer's disease. Inhibitors of Pin1 may have therapeutic implications for cancer and immune disorders.

Discovery and characterization

The gene encoding Pin1 was identified in 1996 as a result of a genetic/biochemical screen for proteins involved in mitotic regulation. It was found to be essential for cell division in some organisms. By 1999, however, it was apparent that Pin1 knockout mice had a surprisingly mild phenotype, indicating that the enzyme was not required for cell division per se. Further studies later found that loss of Pin1 in mice displays not only neuronal degenerative phenotypes but also several abnormalities, similar to those of cyclin D1-null mice, suggesting the conformation changes mediated by Pin1 may be crucial for cell normal function.

Activation of Pin1

Phosphorylation of Ser/Thr-Pro motifs in substrates is required for recognition by Pin1. Pin is a small protein at 18 kDa and does not have a nuclear localization or export signal. Substrate interactions and a WW domain determine...
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