Experimentally biased model structure of the Hsc70/auxilin complex: substrate transfer and interdomain structural change

Protein Sci. 2004 Aug;13(8):2029-44. doi: 10.1110/ps.03390504.


A model structure of the Hsc70/auxilin complex has been constructed to gain insight into interprotein substrate transfer and ATP hydrolysis induced conformational changes in the multidomain Hsc70 structure. The Hsc70/auxilin system, which is a member of the Hsp70/Hsp40 chaperone system family, uncoats clathrin-coated vesicles in an ATP hydrolysis-driven process. Incorporating previous results from NMR and mutant binding studies, the auxilin J-domain was docked into the Hsc70 ATPase domain lower cleft using rigid backbone/flexible side chain molecular dynamics, and the Hsc70 substrate binding domain was docked by a similar procedure. For comparison, J-domain and substrate binding domain docking sites were obtained by the rigid-body docking programs DOT and ZDOCK, filtered and ranked by the program ClusPro, and relaxed using the same rigid backbone/flexible side chain dynamics. The substrate binding domain sites were assessed in terms of conserved surface complementarity and feasibility in the context of substrate transfer, both for auxilin and another Hsp40 protein, Hsc20. This assessment favors placement of the substrate binding domain near D152 on the ATPase domain surface adjacent to the J-domain invariant HPD segment, with the Hsc70 interdomain linker in the lower cleft. Examining Hsc70 interdomain energetics, we propose that long-range electrostatic interactions, perhaps due to a difference in the pKa values of bound ATP and ADP, could play a major role in the structural change induced by ATP hydrolysis. Interdomain electrostatic interactions also appear to play a role in stimulation of ATPase activity due to J-domain binding and substrate binding by Hsc70.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / chemistry*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Auxilins / chemistry*
  • Auxilins / metabolism
  • HSC70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / chemistry*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Software*
  • Substrate Cycling


  • Auxilins
  • HSC70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • HSPA8 protein, human
  • Adenosine Triphosphate

Associated data

  • PDB/1Q2G