The group II chaperonin Mm-Cpn binds and refolds human D crystallin. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chaperonins assist in the folding of nascent and misfolded proteins, though the mechanism of folding within the lumen of the chaperonin remains poorly understood. The archeal chaperonin from Methanococcus marapaludis, Mm-Cpn, shares the eightfold double barrel structure with other group II chaperonins, including the eukaryotic TRiC/CCT, required for actin and tubulin folding. However, Mm-Cpn is composed of a single species subunit, similar to group I chaperonin GroEL, rather than the eight subunit species needed for TRiC/CCT. Features of the -sheet fold have been identified as sites of recognition by group II chaperonins. The crystallins, the major components of the vertebrate eye lens, are -sheet proteins with two homologous Greek key domains. During refolding in vitro a partially folded intermediate is populated, and partitions between productive folding and off-pathway aggregation. We report here that in the presence of physiological concentrations of ATP, Mm-Cpn suppressed the aggregation of HD-Crys by binding the partially folded intermediate. The complex was sufficiently stable to permit recovery by size exclusion chromatography. In the presence of ATP, Mm-Cpn promoted the refolding of the HD-Crys intermediates to the native state. The ability of Mm-Cpn to bind and refold a human -sheet protein suggests that Mm-Cpn may be useful as a simplified model for the substrate recognition mechanism of TRiC/CCT.

published proceedings

  • Protein Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Knee, K. M., Goulet, D. R., Zhang, J., Chen, B. o., Chiu, W., & King, J. A.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Knee, Kelly M||Goulet, Daniel R||Zhang, Junjie||Chen, Bo||Chiu, Wah||King, Jonathan A

publication date

  • January 2011