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J Struct Biol. 2001 Aug;135(2):139-46.

ATP-induced structural change of the thermosome is temperature-dependent.

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Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18a, Martinsried bei M√ľnchen, D-82152, Germany.


Protein folding by chaperonins is powered by ATP binding and hydrolysis. ATPase activity drives the folding machine through a series of conformational rearrangements, extensively described for the group I chaperonin GroEL from Escherichia coli but still poorly understood for the group II chaperonins. The latter--archaeal thermosome and eukaryotic TRiC/CCT--function independently of a GroES-like cochaperonin and are proposed to rely on protrusions of their own apical domains for opening and closure in an ATP-controlled fashion. Here we use small-angle neutron scattering to analyze structural changes of the recombinant alpha-only and the native alphabeta-thermosome from Thermoplasma acidophilum upon their ATPase cycling in solution. We show that specific high-salt conditions, but not the presence of MgATP alone, induce formation of higher order thermosome aggregates. The mechanism of the open-closed transition of the thermosome is strongly temperature-dependent. ATP binding to the chaperonin appears to be a two-step process: at lower temperatures an open state of the ATP-thermosome is predominant, whereas heating to physiological temperatures induces its switching to a closed state. Our data reveal an analogy between the ATPase cycles of the two groups of chaperonins and enable us to put forward a model of thermosome action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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