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Biochem Cell Biol. 2010 Apr;88(2):291-300. doi: 10.1139/o09-175.

Mechanisms of the Hsp70 chaperone system.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, McGill University, 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, QC H3G 1Y6, Canada.


Molecular chaperones of the Hsp70 family have diverse functions in cells. They assist the folding of newly synthesized and stress-denatured proteins, as well as the import of proteins into organelles, and the dissociation of aggregated proteins. The well-conserved Hsp70 chaperones are ATP dependent: binding and hydrolysis of ATP regulates their interactions with unfolded polypeptide substrates, and ATPase cycling is necessary for their function. All cellular functions of Hsp70 chaperones use the same mechanism of ATP-driven polypeptide binding and release. The Hsp40 co-chaperones stimulate ATP hydrolysis by Hsp70 and the type 1 Hsp40 proteins are conserved from Escherichia coli to humans. Various nucleotide exchange factors also promote the Hsp70 ATPase cycle. Recent advances have added to our understanding of the Hsp70 mechanism at a molecular level.

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