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Conditional disorder in chaperone action
- Bardwell, James C.A., Jakob, Ursula
- Trends in biochemical sciences 2012 v.37 no.12 pp. 517-525
- fuzzy logic, in vivo studies, molecular chaperones, protein aggregates, protein folding
- Protein disorder remains an intrinsically fuzzy concept. Its role in protein function is difficult to conceptualize and its experimental study is challenging. Although a wide variety of roles for protein disorder have been proposed, establishing that disorder is functionally important, particularly in vivo, is not a trivial task. Several molecular chaperones have now been identified as conditionally disordered proteins; fully folded and chaperone-inactive under non-stress conditions, they adopt a partially disordered conformation upon exposure to distinct stress conditions. This disorder appears to be vital for their ability to bind multiple aggregation-sensitive client proteins and to protect cells against the stressors. The study of these conditionally disordered chaperones should prove useful in understanding the functional role for protein disorder in molecular recognition.