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Cell. 1996 Jul 26;86(2):287-96.

Pathway leading to correctly folded beta-tubulin.

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Department of Biochemistry, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016, USA.


We describe the complete beta-tubulin folding pathway. Folding intermediates produced via ATP-dependent interaction with cytosolic chaperonin undergo a sequence of interactions with four proteins (cofactors A, D, E, and C). The postchaperonin steps in the reaction cascade do not depend on ATP or GTP hydrolysis, although GTP plays a structural role in tubulin folding. Cofactors A and D function by capturing and stabilizing beta-tubulin in a quasi-native conformation. Cofactor E binds to the cofactor D-beta-tubulin complex; interaction with cofactor C then causes the release of beta-tubulin polypeptides that are committed to the native state. Sequence analysis identifies yeast homologs of cofactors D (cin1) and E (pac2), characterized by mutations that affect microtubule function.

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