Functional Contributions of Prefoldin to Gene Expression

  • Laura Payán-Bravo
  • Xenia Peñate
  • Sebastián ChávezEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1106)


Prefoldin is a co-chaperone that evolutionarily originates in archaea, is universally present in all eukaryotes and acts as a co-chaperone by facilitating the supply of unfolded or partially folded substrates to class II chaperonins. Eukaryotic prefoldin is known mainly for its functional relevance in the cytoplasmic folding of actin and tubulin monomers during cytoskeleton assembly. However, the role of prefoldin in chaperonin-mediated folding is not restricted to cytoskeleton components, but extends to both the assembly of other cytoplasmic complexes and the maintenance of functional proteins by avoiding protein aggregation and facilitating proteolytic degradation. Evolution has favoured the diversification of prefoldin subunits, and has allowed the so-called prefoldin-like complex, with specialised functions, to appear. Subunits of both canonical and prefoldin-like complexes have also been found in the nucleus of yeast and metazoan cells, where they have been functionally connected with different gene expression steps. Plant prefoldin has also been detected in the nucleus and is physically associated with a gene regulator. Here we summarise information available on the functional involvement of prefoldin in gene expression, and discuss the implications of these results for the relationship between prefoldin structure and function.


Prefoldin GimC Prefoldin-like complex URI UXT PDRG1 Gene expression RNA polymerase II Transcription elongation c-Myc MM-1 DELLA 



This work was supported by Grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): BFU2016-77728-C3-3-P. We also acknowledge the support from the Andalusian Government and ERDF (Grant P12-BIO-1938 MO). L.P.-B. is a recipient of an FPI contract from Junta de Andalucía. We thank Helen Warburton for editing the English.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Payán-Bravo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xenia Peñate
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sebastián Chávez
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Insitituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, Universidad de Sevilla-CSIC-Hospital Universitario V. del RocíoSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de GenéticaUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain

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