Folding and Domain Interactions of Three Orthologs of Hsp90 Studied by Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy

Markus Jahn, Katarzyna Tych*, Hannah Girstmair, Maximilian Steinmaßl, Thorsten Hugel, Johannes Buchner, Matthias Rief

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


The heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) molecular chaperones are highly conserved across species. However, their dynamic properties can vary significantly from organism to organism. Here we used high-precision optical tweezers to analyze the mechanical properties and folding of different Hsp90 orthologs, namely bacterial Hsp90 (HtpG) and Hsp90 from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) (Grp94), as well as from the cytosol of the eukaryotic cell (Hsp82). We find that the folding rates of Hsp82 and HtpG are similar, while the folding of Grp94 is slowed down by misfolding of the N-terminal domain. Furthermore, the domain interactions mediated by the charged linker, involved in the conformational cycles of all three orthologs, are much stronger for Grp94 than for Hsp82, keeping the N-terminal domain and the middle domain in close proximity. Thus, the ER resident Hsp90 ortholog differs from the cytosolic counterparts in basic functionally relevant structural properties. Jahn and Tych et al. report high-precision optical tweezers experiments to analyze the structural and mechanical properties of three orthologs of the heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) molecular chaperone family. Hsp90s are highly conserved across species. They find differences in folding rates, domain interactions, and functionally relevant structural stabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-105.e4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2-Jan-2018


  • chaperones
  • conformational dynamics
  • heat-shock protein 90
  • optical tweezers
  • protein folding
  • single molecule

Cite this