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Biochemistry. 2012 Aug 7;51(31):6127-38. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Monomeric 14-3-3ζ has a chaperone-like activity and is stabilized by phosphorylated HspB6.

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A. N. Bach Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Prospect 33, Moscow 119071, Russian Federation.


Members of the 14-3-3 eukaryotic protein family predominantly function as dimers. The dimeric form can be converted into monomers upon phosphorylation of Ser(58) located at the subunit interface. Monomers are less stable than dimers and have been considered to be either less active or even inactive during binding and regulation of phosphorylated client proteins. However, like dimers, monomers contain the phosphoserine-binding site and therefore can retain some functions of the dimeric 14-3-3. Furthermore, 14-3-3 monomers may possess additional functional roles owing to their exposed intersubunit surfaces. Previously we have found that the monomeric mutant of 14-3-3ζ (14-3-3ζ(m)), like the wild type protein, is able to bind phosphorylated small heat shock protein HspB6 (pHspB6), which is involved in the regulation of smooth muscle contraction and cardioprotection. Here we report characterization of the 14-3-3ζ(m)/pHspB6 complex by biophysical and biochemical techniques. We find that formation of the complex retards proteolytic degradation and increases thermal stability of the monomeric 14-3-3, indicating that interaction with phosphorylated targets could be a general mechanism of 14-3-3 monomers stabilization. Furthermore, by using myosin subfragment 1 (S1) as a model substrate we find that the monomer has significantly higher chaperone-like activity than either the dimeric 14-3-3ζ protein or even HspB6 itself. These observations indicate that 14-3-3ζ and possibly other 14-3-3 isoforms may have additional functional roles conducted by the monomeric state.

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