Mechanism of chaperone function in small heat-shock proteins. Phosphorylation-induced activation of two-mode binding in alphaB-crystallin.
- PMID: 12529319[PubMed].
The consequences of alphaB-crystallin phosphorylation on its chaperone activity were investigated using a detailed analysis of the recognition and binding of destabilized T4 lysozyme (T4L) mutants by alphaB-crystallin phosphorylation mimics containing combinations of serine to aspartate substitutions. The T4L site-directed mutants were selected to constitute an energetic ladder of progressively destabilized proteins having similar structures in the folded state. alphaB-crystallin and its variants differentially recognize the T4L mutants, binding the more destabilized ones to a larger extent. Furthermore, the aspartate substitutions result in an increase in the extent of binding to the same T4L mutant and in the appearance of biphasic binding isotherms. The latter indicates the presence of two modes of binding characterized by different affinities and different numbers of binding sites. The transition to two-mode binding can also be induced by temperature or pH activation of the second mode. The similarity between the phosphorylation, pH, and temperature effects suggests a common structural origin. The location of the phosphorylation sites in the N-terminal domain and the hypothesized burial of this domain in the core of the oligomeric structure are consistent with a critical role for the destabilization of the quaternary structure in the process of recognition and binding by small heat-shock proteins.