The eukaryotic chaperonin TRiC (also called CCT) is the obligate chaperone for many essential proteins. TRiC is hetero-oligomeric, comprising two stacked rings of eight different subunits each. Subunit diversification from simpler archaeal chaperonins appears linked to proteome expansion. Here, we integrate structural, biophysical, and modeling approaches to identify the hitherto unknown substrate-binding site in TRiC and uncover the basis of substrate recognition. NMR and modeling provided a structural model of a chaperonin-substrate complex. Mutagenesis and crosslinking-mass spectrometry validated the identified substrate-binding interface and demonstrate that TRiC contacts full-length substrates combinatorially in a subunit-specific manner. The binding site of each subunit has a distinct, evolutionarily conserved pattern of polar and hydrophobic residues specifying recognition of discrete substrate motifs. The combinatorial recognition of polypeptides broadens the specificity of TRiC and may direct the topology of bound polypeptides along a productive folding trajectory, contributing to TRiC's unique ability to fold obligate substrates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)