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FEBS Lett. 2006 Jan 9;580(1):72-6. Epub 2005 Dec 6.

Exploring the capacity of trigger factor to function as a shield for ribosome bound polypeptide chains.

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Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany.


Ribosome-bound trigger factor (TF) is the first chaperone encountered by a nascent polypeptide chain in bacteria. TF has been proposed to form a cradle-shaped shield for nascent chains up to approximately 130 residues to fold in a protected environment upon exit from the ribosome. We report that nascent chains of luciferase up to 280 residues in length are relatively protected by TF against digestion by proteinase K. In contrast, nascent chains of the constitutively unstructured protein alpha-synuclein were not protected, although they were in close proximity to TF by crosslinking. Thus, TF is not a general shield for nascent chains. Protease protection appears to depend on a hydrophobic interaction of TF with nascent polypeptides.

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