The multicomponent heat-shock protein (hsp) 90–based chaperone system is an ubiquitous protein-folding system in the cytoplasm of eukaryotes. Several signal transduction systems utilize an interaction with hsp90 as an essential component of the signaling pathway. The steroid and dioxin receptors are bound to hsp90 through their hormone-binding domains, and several of them must be bound to hsp90 in order to have a ligand-binding site. The binding of ligands to these receptors promotes their dissociation from hsp90, an event that is the first step in their signaling pathways. Several protein kinases, including the Src and Raf components of the MAP kinase system, are also bound to hsp90. Genetic studies in yeast have demonstrated that hsp90 is required for normal signaling via steroid and dioxin receptors and for the activity of Src in vivo. The hsp90-based chaperone system has been reconstituted from purified components, permitting detailed analysis of the molecular basis of the chaperone's role in signal transduction.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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