Intramolecular Motions of Chaperonin Play Important Role in Protein Repair Amazing biomolecular mechanism similar to domino effect

September 5, 2013

© Hiroshi Sekiguchi,
Schematic model of the conformational change in the chaperonin.

A research group led by Prof. Yuji Sasaki (Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo), Hiroshi Sekiguchi (Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute), and Prof. Masafumi Yohda (The Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology) has for the first time succeeded in the real-time and high-precision monitoring of intramolecular motions of the chaperonin molecule at the single-molecule level. Chaperonin plays an important role in the repair of nonnative proteins and has a cylinder structure in which two oligomeric rings are stacked. It was discovered that the lid of the chaperonin ring partially closed after ATP binding to chaperonin, and the closed ring structure subsequently twisted counterclockwise as viewed from above. A “domino-effect” series of intramolecular motions were monitored at a temporal resolution of 30 ms and picometer-level position accuracy by a diffracted X-ray tracking technique developed by Professor Sasaki in 1998. High-speed and high-precision monitoring of intramolecular motion observed in this study may open up new strategies for drug development and increase understanding of intermolecular interaction in the future.

Press release (Japanese)


Hiroshi Sekiguchi, Ayumi Nakagawa, Kazuki Moriya, Koki Makabe, Kouhei Ichiyanagi, Shunsuke Nozawa, Tokushi Sato, Shin-ichi Adachi, Kunihiro Kuwajima, Masafumi Yohda, Yuji C. Sasaki,
“ATP Dependent Rotational Motion of Group II Chaperonin Observed by X-ray Single Molecule Tracking”,
PLoS ONE Online Edition: 2013/05/30 (6 a.m. Japan time), doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064176.
Article link


Graduate School of Frontier Sciences

Department of Advanced Materials Science, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences

Y. C. Sasaki Laboratory, Department of Advanced Materials Science, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences

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