Structural and mechanistic consequences of polypeptide binding by GroEL.
Coyle JE., Jaeger J., Gross M., Robinson CV., Radford SE.
The remarkable ability of the chaperonin GroEL to recognise a diverse range of non-native states of proteins constitutes one of the most fascinating molecular recognition events in protein chemistry. Recent structural studies have revealed a possible model for substrate binding by GroEL and a high-resolution image of the GroEL-GroES folding machinery has provided important new insights into our understanding of the mechanism of action of this chaperonin. Studies with a variety of model substrates reveal that the binding of substrate proteins to GroEL is not just a passive event, but can result in significant changes in the structure and stability of the bound polypeptide. The potential impact of this on the mechanism of chaperonin-assisted folding is not fully understood, but provides exciting scope for further experiment.