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Mol Cell. 2007 Jan 26;25(2):247-60.

M domains couple the ClpB threading motor with the DnaK chaperone activity.

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ZMBH, Universit├Ąt Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 282, Heidelberg D-69120, Germany.


The AAA(+) chaperone ClpB mediates the reactivation of aggregated proteins in cooperation with the DnaK chaperone system. ClpB consists of two AAA domains that drive the ATP-dependent threading of substrates through a central translocation channel. Its unique middle (M) domain forms a coiled-coil structure that laterally protrudes from the ClpB ring and is essential for aggregate solubilization. Here, we demonstrate that the conserved helix 3 of the M domain is specifically required for the DnaK-dependent shuffling of aggregated proteins, but not of soluble denatured substrates, to the pore entrance of the ClpB translocation channel. Helix 3 exhibits nucleotide-driven conformational changes possibly involving a transition between folded and unfolded states. This molecular switch controls the ClpB ATPase cycle by contacting the first ATPase domain and establishes the M domain as a regulatory device that acts in the disaggregation process by coupling the threading motor of ClpB with the DnaK chaperone activity.

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