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J Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 May 31;38(3):266-74.

Structure and function of HtrA family proteins, the key players in protein quality control.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon 440-746, Korea.


High temperature requirement A (HtrA) and its homologues constitute the HtrA family proteins, a group of heat shock-induced serine proteases. Bacterial HtrA proteins perform crucial functions with regard to protein quality control in the periplasmic space, functioning as both molecular chaperones and proteases. In contrast to other bacterial quality control proteins, including ClpXP, ClpAP, and HslUV, HtrA proteins contain no regulatory components or ATP binding domains. Thus, they are commonly referred to as ATP-independent chaperone-proteases. Whereas the function of ATP-dependent chaperone-proteases is regulated by ATP hydrolysis, HtrA exhibits a PDZ domain and a temperature-dependent switch mechanism, which effects the change in its function from molecular chaperone to protease. This mechanism is also related to substrate recognition and the fine control of its function. Structural and biochemical analyses of the three HtrA proteins, DegP, DegQ, and DegS, have provided us with clues as to the functional regulation of HtrA proteins, as well as their roles in protein quality control at atomic scales. The objective of this brief review is to discuss some of the recent studies which have been conducted regarding the structure and function of these HtrA proteins, and to compare their roles in the context of protein quality control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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