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  • Actin:

    Present in all eukaryotic cells (except for nematode sperm) where it may be present at concentrations of over 100 μM. It is also one of the most highly-conserved proteins, differing by no more than 20% in species as diverse as algae and humans. It is the monomeric subunit of microfilaments, one of the three major components of the cytoskeleton, and of thin filaments, which are part of the contractile apparatus in muscle cells. Thus, actin participates in many important cellular functions, including muscle contraction, cell motility, cell division and cytokinesis, vesicle and organelle movement, cell signaling, and the establishment and maintenance of cell junctions and cell shape.

  • Affinity:

    A measure of the strength of binding of one molecule to another, e.g. of a ligand to a receptor or a substrate to an enzyme.

  • Amphipathic:

    This describes a molecule which possesses both hydrophilic and hydrophobic elements.

  • Antibody:

    A protein produced by the body’s immune system in response to a foreign substance (antigen). An antibody reacts specifically with the antigen that induced its formation and inactivates the antigen. Our bodies fight off an infection by producing antibodies.

  • Antigen:

    Any foreign substance, usually a protein, that stimulates a specific immune response.


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