by Séverine Altairac

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Were it not for the coiled coil…

Cupidin …
A protein neither short nor long
Whose arrow flirts with the brain
And knows how to touch the heart
Whose coiled coil has seduced many
From glutamate receptors to the actin cytoskeleton.

A protein which embraces
And coaxes its partners to the post-synaptic density
From where they are eased into the neuron’s membrane
To blossom
To communicate
To guide.

From Drosophila to Man
Whose lace and unlace
Goads its allies into a waltz
Bestows suppleness on synapses
Escorts axons along their path
…and lends its share of pain.

Another poem in: Shiraishi Y., Mizutani A., Yuasa S., Mikoshiba K., Furuichi T., "Glutamate-induced declustering of post-synaptic adaptor protein Cupidin (Homer 2/vesl-2) in cultured cerebellar granule cells", J. Neurochem. 87:364-376(2003) PMID: 14511114

UniProt cross references
Cupidin (Homer protein homolog 2), Homa sapiens (human): Q9NSB8
Protein Spotlight (ISSN 1424-4721) is a monthly review written by the Swiss-Prot team of the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Spotlight articles describe a specific protein or family of proteins on an informal tone. Follow us: Subscribe · Twitter · Facebook