Author(s): Weissman JS, Hohl CM, Kovalenko O, Kashi Y, Chen S,
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Abstract The chaperonin GroEL is a large, double-ring structure that, together with ATP and the cochaperonin GroES, assists protein folding in vivo. GroES forms an asymmetric complex with GroEL in which a single GroES ring binds one end of the GroEL cylinder. Cross-linking studies reveal that polypeptide binding occurs exclusively to the GroEL ring not occupied by GroES (trans). During the folding reaction, however, released GroES can rebind to the GroEL ring containing polypeptide (cis). The polypeptide is held tightly in a proteolytically protected environment in cis complexes, in the presence of ADP. Single turnover experiments with ornithine transcarbamylase reveal that polypeptide is productively released from the cis but not the trans complex. These observations suggest a two-step mechanism for GroEL-mediated folding. First, GroES displaces the polypeptide from its initial binding sites, sequestering it in the GroEL central cavity. Second, ATP hydrolysis induces release of GroES and productive release of polypeptide.
This article was published in Cell
and referenced in Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics