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Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2005 Sep-Nov;85(5-6):385-94. Epub 2005 Oct 25.

The unusual chaperonins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, ECIL Road, Nacharam, Hyderabad 500 076, India.


Heat shock proteins (Hsps), also known as molecular chaperones, are a diverse set of proteins that mediate the correct folding, assembly, transport and degradation of other proteins. In addition, Hsps have been shown to play a variety of important roles in immunity, thereby representing prominent antigens in the humoral and cellular immune response. Chaperonins form a sub-group of molecular chaperones that are found in all domains of life. Chaperonins in all bacteria are encoded by the essential groEL and groES genes, also called cpn60 and cpn10 arranged on the bicistronic groESL operon. Interestingly, Mycobacterium tuberculosis contains two copies of the cpn60 genes. The existence of a duplicate set of cpn60 genes in M. tuberculosis, however, has been perplexing. Cpn10 and Cpn60s of M. tuberculosis have been shown to be highly antigenic in nature, eliciting strong B- and T-cell immune responses. Recent work has shown intriguing structural, biochemical and signaling properties of the M. tuberculosis chaperonins. This review details the recent developments in the study of the M. tuberculosis chaperonins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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