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The 70 kDa and 90 kDa heat shock proteins Hsp70 and Hsp90 are two abundant and highly conserved ATP-dependent molecular chaperones that participate in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. In Escherichia coli, Hsp90 (Hsp90Ec) and Hsp70 (DnaK) directly interact and collaborate in protein remodeling. Previous work has produced a model of the direct interaction of both chaperones. The locations of the residues involved have been confirmed and the model has been validated. In this study, we investigate the allosteric communication between Hsp90Ec and DnaK and how the chaperones couple their conformational cycles. Using elastic network models (ENM), normal mode analysis (NMA), and a structural perturbation method (SPM) of asymmetric and symmetric DnaK-Hsp90Ec, we extract biologically relevant vibrations and identify residues involved in allosteric signaling. When one DnaK is bound, the dominant normal modes favor biological motions that orient a substrate protein bound to DnaK within the substrate/client binding site of Hsp90Ec and release the substrate from the DnaK substrate binding domain. The presence of one DnaK molecule stabilizes the entire Hsp90Ec protomer to which it is bound. Conversely, the symmetric model of DnaK binding results in steric clashes of DnaK molecules and suggests that the Hsp90Ec and DnaK chaperone cycles operate independently. Together, this data supports an asymmetric binding of DnaK to Hsp90Ec.


Matthew P Grindle, Ben Carter, John Paul Alao, Katherine Connors, Riina Tehver, Andrea N Kravats. Structural Communication between the E. coli Chaperones DnaK and Hsp90. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Feb 23;22(4)

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PMID: 33672263

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