PerspectiveBiochemistry

Trigger Factor Flexibility

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Science  09 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6184, pp. 590-591
DOI: 10.1126/science.1254064

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Summary

Molecular chaperones are found in all cells and are essential for maintaining a functional proteome. The main function of chaperones is to promote correct protein folding by protecting non-native proteins from folding along pathways that lead to protein misfolding and aggregation. To fulfill this task, chaperones must recognize a non-native protein, transiently bind to it, and then release it at precisely the right time to allow the substrate to proceed with its folding course. Many but not all chaperones use adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) to control the dynamic substrate binding and release cycle (1). On page 597 of this issue, Saio et al. (2) unravel the structural basis and underlying mechanism of action of the ATP-independent chaperone trigger factor (TF).