The Hsp70 chaperone machines of Escherichia coli: a paradigm for the repartition of chaperone functions

Mol Microbiol. 2007 Nov;66(4):840-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2007.05961.x. Epub 2007 Oct 4.


Molecular chaperones are highly conserved in all free-living organisms. There are many types of chaperones, and most are conveniently grouped into families. Genome sequencing has revealed that many organisms contain multiple members of both the DnaK (Hsp70) family and their partner J-domain protein (JDP) cochaperone, belonging to the DnaJ (Hsp40) family. Escherichia coli K-12 encodes three Hsp70 genes and six JDP genes. The coexistence of these chaperones in the same cytosol suggests that certain chaperone-cochaperone interactions are permitted, and that chaperone tasks and their regulation have become specialized over the course of evolution. Extensive genetic and biochemical analyses have greatly expanded knowledge of chaperone tasking in this organism. In particular, recent advances in structure determination have led to significant insights of the underlying complexities and functional elegance of the Hsp70 chaperone machine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Escherichia coli K12 / genetics
  • Escherichia coli K12 / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • HSP40 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • HSP40 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Chaperones / genetics
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism*


  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • HSP40 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Molecular Chaperones