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Cell. 2006 Jan 13;124(1):75-88.

Systems analyses reveal two chaperone networks with distinct functions in eukaryotic cells.

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Department of Biological Sciences and BioX Program, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Molecular chaperones assist the folding of newly translated and stress-denatured proteins. In prokaryotes, overlapping sets of chaperones mediate both processes. In contrast, we find that eukaryotes evolved distinct chaperone networks to carry out these functions. Genomic and functional analyses indicate that in addition to stress-inducible chaperones that protect the cellular proteome from stress, eukaryotes contain a stress-repressed chaperone network that is dedicated to protein biogenesis. These stress-repressed chaperones are transcriptionally, functionally, and physically linked to the translational apparatus and associate with nascent polypeptides emerging from the ribosome. Consistent with a function in de novo protein folding, impairment of the translation-linked chaperone network renders cells sensitive to misfolding in the context of protein synthesis but not in the context of environmental stress. The emergence of a translation-linked chaperone network likely underlies the elaborate cotranslational folding process necessary for the evolution of larger multidomain proteins characteristic of eukaryotic cells.

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