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Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2004 Sep-Dec;39(5-6):297-317.

Beyond transcription--new mechanisms for the regulation of molecular chaperones.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048, USA.


Molecular chaperones are an essential part of the universal heat shock response that allows organisms to survive stress conditions that cause intracellular protein unfolding. During the past few years, two new mechanisms have been found to control the activity of several chaperones under stress conditions-the regulation of chaperone activity by the redox state and by the temperature of the environment. Hsp33, for example, is redox-regulated. Hsp33 is specifically activated by disulfide bond formation during oxidative stress, where it becomes a highly efficient chaperone holdase that binds tightly to unfolding proteins. Certain small heat shock proteins, such as Hsp26 and Hsp16.9, on the other hand, are temperature regulated. Exposure to heat shock temperatures causes these oligomeric proteins to disassemble, thereby changing them into highly efficient chaperones. The ATP-dependent chaperone folding system DnaK/DnaJ/GrpE also appears to be temperature regulated, switching from a folding to a holding mode during heat stress. Both of these novel post-translational regulatory strategies appear to have one ultimate goal: to significantly increase the substrate binding affinity of the affected chaperones under exactly those stress conditions that require their highest chaperone activity. This ensures that protein folding intermediates remain bound to the chaperones under stress conditions and are released only after the cells return to non-stress conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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