Functional Subunits of Eukaryotic Chaperonin CCT/TRiC in Protein Folding

Molecular Genetics Laboratory, School of Biotechnology, National Institute of Technology Calicut, Kerala 673601, India.
Journal of amino acids 07/2011; 2011:843206. DOI: 10.4061/2011/843206
Source: PubMed


Molecular chaperones are a class of proteins responsible for proper folding of a large number of polypeptides in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Newly synthesized polypeptides are prone to nonspecific interactions, and many of them make toxic aggregates in absence of chaperones. The eukaryotic chaperonin CCT is a large, multisubunit, cylindrical structure having two identical rings stacked back to back. Each ring is composed of eight different but similar subunits and each subunit has three distinct domains. CCT assists folding of actin, tubulin, and numerous other cellular proteins in an ATP-dependent manner. The catalytic cooperativity of ATP binding/hydrolysis in CCT occurs in a sequential manner different from concerted cooperativity as shown for GroEL. Unlike GroEL, CCT does not have GroES-like cofactor, rather it has a built-in lid structure responsible for closing the central cavity. The CCT complex recognizes its substrates through diverse mechanisms involving hydrophobic or electrostatic interactions. Upstream factors like Hsp70 and Hsp90 also work in a concerted manner to transfer the substrate to CCT. Moreover, prefoldin, phosducin-like proteins, and Bag3 protein interact with CCT and modulate its function for the fine-tuning of protein folding process. Any misregulation of protein folding process leads to the formation of misfolded proteins or toxic aggregates which are linked to multiple pathological disorders.

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