Disorder in Milk Proteins: α-lactalbumin. Part B. A Multifunctional Whey Protein Acting as an Oligomeric Molten Globular “Oil Container” in the Anti-tumorigenic Drugs, Liprotides

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Liprotide, Molten Globule, Oleic Acid Binding, Stability, Structure, α-lactalbumin, Intrinsic Disorder


This is a second part of the three-part article from a series of reviews on the abundance and roles of intrinsic disorder in milk proteins. We continue to describe α-lactalbumin, a small globular Ca2+-binding protein, which besides being one of the two components of lactose synthase that catalyzes the final step of the lactose biosynthesis in the lactating mammary gland, possesses a multitude of other functions. In fact, recent studies indicated that some partially folded forms of this protein possess noticeable bactericidal activity and other forms might be related to induction of the apoptosis of tumor cells. In its anti-tumorigenic function, oligomeric α-lactalbumin serves as a founding member of a new family of anticancer drugs termed liprotides (for lipids and partially denatured proteins), where an oligomeric molten globular protein acts as an “oil container” or cargo for the delivery of oleic acid to the cell membranes.

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Current Protein and Peptide Science, v. 17, issue 6, p. 612-628