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Biochemistry (Mosc). 2004 May;69(5):552-7.

Inter-subunit cross-linking suppressed the dynamic oligomeric dissociation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Hsp16.3 and reduced its chaperone activity.

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Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, P. R. China.


Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) usually exist as dynamic oligomers and oligomeric dissociation was believed to be a prerequisite for their chaperone activities. The truth of this hypothesis was verified in our present study on Hsp16.3, one member of sHsps from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, mainly by utilizing chemical cross-linking. Analysis using size exclusion chromatography demonstrated that the heat-induced oligomeric dissociation of Hsp16.3 was severely blocked due to highly efficient inter-subunit cross-linkages generated by chemical cross-linking, as well as its chaperone activity being reduced. Further analysis by non-denaturing pore gradient polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorescence spectrometry revealed that the dynamic oligomeric dissociation/reassociation process of Hsp16.3 at room temperature was suppressed by inter-subunit cross-linkages, accompanied by significantly decreased exposure of hydrophobic surfaces that are usually hidden in oligomers. These findings supported the hypothesis that substrate-binding sites of sHsps are exposed presumably by dissociation of larger oligomers into smaller active oligomers, and therefore such a dissociation process could be adjusted to modulate chaperone activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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