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Nat Chem Biol. 2011 Sep 4;7(10):671-7. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.644.

A genetically incorporated crosslinker reveals chaperone cooperation in acid resistance.

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State Key Laboratory of Protein and Plant Gene Research, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.


Acid chaperones are essential factors in preserving the protein homeostasis for enteric pathogens to survive in the extremely acidic mammalian stomach (pH 1-3). The client proteins of these chaperones remain largely unknown, primarily because of the exceeding difficulty of determining protein-protein interactions under low-pH conditions. We developed a genetically encoded, highly efficient protein photocrosslinking probe, which enabled us to profile the in vivo substrates of a major acid-protection chaperone, HdeA, in Escherichia coli periplasm. Among the identified HdeA client proteins, the periplasmic chaperones DegP and SurA were initially found to be protected by HdeA at a low pH, but they subsequently facilitated the HdeA-mediated acid recovery of other client proteins. This unique, ATP-independent chaperone cooperation in the ATP-deprived E. coli periplasm may support the acid resistance of enteric bacteria. The crosslinker would be valuable in unveiling the physiological interaction partners of any given protein and thus their functions under normal and stress conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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