Role and mechanism of the Hsp70 molecular chaperone machines in bacterial pathogens

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Heat shock proteins are highly conserved, stress-inducible, ubiquitous proteins that maintain homeostasis in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Hsp70 proteins belong to the heat shock protein family and enhance bacterial survival in hostile environments. Hsp70, known as DnaK in prokaryotes, supports numerous processes such as the assembly and disassembly of protein complexes, the refolding of misfolded and clustered proteins, membrane translocation and the regulation of regulatory proteins. The chaperone-based activity of Hsp70 depends on dynamic interactions between its two domains, known as the ATPase domain and the substrate-binding domain. It also depends on interactions between these domains and other co-chaperone molecules such as the Hsp40 protein family member DnaJ and nucleotide exchange factors. DnaJ is the primary chaperone that interacts with nascent polypeptide chains and functions to prevent their premature release from the ribosome and misfolding before it is targeted by DnaK. Adhesion of bacteria to host cells is mediated by both host and bacterial Hsp70. Following infection of the host, bacterial Hsp70 (DnaK) is in a position to initiate bacterial survival processes and trigger an immune response by the host. Any mutations in the dnaK gene have been shown to decrease the viability of bacteria inside the host. This review will give insights into the structure and mechanism of Hsp70 and its role in regulating the protein activity that contributes to pathogenesis.

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