Investigation of the interactions between the bacterial homologue to actin, and the chaperone GroEL/ES through a combination of protein engineering and spectroscopy
Molecular chaperones help many proteins in the cell reach their native conformation. The mechanism with which they do this has been studied extensively, but has not been entirely elucidated. This work is a continuation of the study done by Laila Villebeck et al. (2007) on the conformational rearrangements in the eukaryotic protein actin in interaction with the eukaryotic chaperone TRiC. In this study the intentions were to analyze the protein MreB, a prokaryotic homologue to actin, when interacting with the prokaryotic chaperone GroEL. The purpose was to investigate if the mechanisms of GroEL and TRiC are similar. The analysis of the conformation of MreB was to be made through calculations of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between two positions in MreB labeled with fluorescein. A MreB mutant was made through site-specific mutagenesis to enable labeling at a specific position. Another single mutant and a corresponding double mutant needed for these measurements were avaliable from earlier studies. The results from fluorescence measurements on these mutants indicated that the degree of labeling was insufficient for accurate determination of FRET. Suggestions are made on improvements of the experimental approach for future studies.
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