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J Biosci. 2007 Apr;32(3):441-6.

Molecular chaperones: the modular evolution of cellular networks.

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Department of Medical Chemistry, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.


Molecular chaperones play a prominent role in signaling and transcriptional regulatory networks of the cell. Recent advances uncovered that chaperones act as genetic buffers stabilizing the phenotype of various cells and organisms and may serve as potential regulators of evolvability. Chaperones have weak links, connect hubs, are in the overlaps of network modules and may uncouple these modules during stress,which gives an additional protection for the cell at the network-level. Moreover,after stress chaperones are essential to re-build inter-modular contacts by their low affinity sampling of the potential interaction partners in different modules. This opens the way to the chaperone-regulated modular evolution of cellular networks,and helps us to design novel therapeutic and anti-aging strategies.

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