Prokaryotic Multiple Chaperonins: The Mediators of Functional and Evolutionary Diversity
Chaperonins are a class of molecular chaperones that form large multimeric assemblies for encapsulation of substrate proteins. Surprisingly, 30% of newly sequenced bacterial genomes encode multiple copies of the chaperonins. The distribution of these multiple copies appears to follow a phylum-specific pattern. Functional and structural studies on several of these chaperonins have delineated how these extra chaperonins evolved functional diversity and contributed towards the biological adaptation of the hosting organisms. Since several of these bacteria are either pathogenic or economically important, and the chaperonins regulate the pathogenic processes in these organisms, it is important to understand their biology. This chapter is aimed to act as a primer for the subsequent chapters that describe different examples of multiple chaperonins and the plethora of their functional diversity.
Santosh is Newton International Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK, sponsored by The Royal Society, The British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK. Further, we wish to acknowledge the support of Department of Biotechnology, India.
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