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EMBO J. 1998 Oct 15;17(20):5868-76.

Identification of in vivo substrates of the yeast mitochondrial chaperonins reveals overlapping but non-identical requirement for hsp60 and hsp10.

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Biozentrum der Universität Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


The mechanism of chaperonin-assisted protein folding has been mostly analyzed in vitro using non-homologous substrate proteins. In order to understand the relative importance of hsp60 and hsp10 in the living cell, homologous substrate proteins need to be identified and analyzed. We have devised a novel screen to test the folding of a large variety of homologous substrates in the mitochondrial matrix in the absence or presence of functional hsp60 or hsp10. The identified substrates have an Mr of 15-90 kDa and fall into three groups: (i) proteins that require both hsp60 and hsp10 for correct folding; (ii) proteins that completely fail to fold after inactivation of hsp60 but are unaffected by the inactivation of hsp10; and (iii) newly imported hsp60 itself, which is more severely affected by inactivation of hsp10 than by inactivation of pre-existing hsp60. The majority of the identified substrates are group I proteins. For these, the lack of hsp60 function has a more pronounced effect than inactivation of hsp10. We suggest that homologous substrate proteins have differential chaperonin requirements, indicating that hsp60 and hsp10 do not always act as a single functional unit in vivo.

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