Protein degradation is essential for all living things. Bacteria use energy-dependent proteases to control protein destruction in a highly specific manner. Recognition of substrates is determined by the inherent specificity of the proteases and through adaptor proteins that alter the spectrum of substrates. In the α-proteobacterium , regulated protein degradation is required for stress responses, developmental transitions, and cell cycle progression. In this review, we describe recent progress in our understanding of the regulated and stress-responsive protein degradation pathways in . We discuss how organization of highly specific adaptors into functional hierarchies drives destruction of proteins during the bacterial cell cycle. Because all cells must balance the need for degradation of many true substrates with the toxic consequences of nonspecific protein destruction, principles found in one system likely generalize to others.

Keyword(s): AAA+ proteaseadaptorcell cycleClpAPClpXPLon

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