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J Struct Biol. 2004 Apr-May;146(1-2):141-7.

Kinetics of protein substrate degradation by HslUV.

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Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


The HslUV protease-chaperone complex degrades specific protein substrates in an ATP-dependent reaction. Current models propose that the HslU chaperone, a AAA protein of the Clp/Hsp100 family, binds and unfolds substrates and translocates the polypeptide into the catalytic cavity of the HslV protease. These processes are being characterized using substrates that are targeted to HslUV with a carboxy-terminal fusion of the natural substrate SulA or the carboxy-terminal 11 amino acid residues thereof. In a tandem fusion of green fluorescent protein with SulA, HslUV degrades the SulA moiety but not green fluorescent protein. Wild type and mutant Arc repressor variants are degraded; over a range of substrate stabilities, the specific rate of degradation and its dependence on substrate stability is similar to that of ClpXP. For a hyperstable Arc variant having an intermolecular disulfide bond, the rate of degradation by HslUV is an order of magnitude slower than by ClpXP. Similarity in degradation rates for a subset of substrates by HslUV and ClpXP suggests a similarity in mechanism of the apparent rate-limiting steps of unfolding and translocation by the chaperone components HslU and ClpX. The fall-off in degradation by HslUV for the more stable substrates that are degraded by ClpXP is consistent with the two systems acting on different spectra of biological substrates.

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