Cyclophilin A is a cytosolic and highly abundant protein. The protein belongs to a family of isozymes, including cyclophilins B and C, and natural killer cell cyclophilin-related protein. Major isoforms have been found throughout the cell, including the ER, and some are even secreted.
Cyclophilin A also known as peptidylprolyl isomerase A, which is found in the cytosol, has a beta barrel structure with two alpha helices and a beta-sheet. Other cyclophilins have similar structures to cyclophilin A. The cyclosporin-cyclophilin A complex inhibits a calcium/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, calcineurin, the inhibition of which is thought to suppress organ rejection by halting the production of the pro-inflammatory molecules TNF alpha and interleukin 2.
Cyclophilin A is also known to be recruited by the Gag polyprotein during HIV-1 virus infection, and its incorporation into new virus particles is essential for HIV-1 infectivity.
Cyclophilin D, which is located in the matrix of mitochondria, is only a modulatory, but may or may not be a structural component of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. The pore opening raises the permeability of the mitochondrial inner membrane, allows influx of cytosolic molecules into the mitochondrial matrix, increases the matrix volume, and disrupts the mitochondrial outer membrane. As a result, the mitochondria fall into a functional disorder, so the opening of the pore plays an important role in cell death. Cyclophilin D is thought to regulate the opening of the pore because cyclosporin A, which binds to CyP-D, inhibits the pore opening.